Oscar-nominated scribes Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man) have reportedly completed their script work for a rebooting of the Tomb Raider movie franchise, which GK Films acquired the rights to earlier this year. The plan, at that time, was to craft a cinematic reworking of badass adventurer Lara Croft's origins that could (fairly) quickly begin production, in order to make a 2013 release date.
Producer Graham King (the upcoming Hugo) has now provided an update on the project, which he indicates is still aiming to begin shooting sometime next year.
King snagged an Academy Award for The Departed and has previously worked primarily on higher-pedigree titles, such as Traffic, Ali, The Aviator, and The Town. However, his upcoming production slate includes a mix of popcorn fare (Dark Shadows, World War Z) and prestigious dramatic works (In the Land of Blood and Honey, Argo). Hence why it's not so surprising to hear that his Tomb Raider reboot aims to occupy a middle ground and be more of a thematically-substantial, but still action-packed blockbuster flick.
Here is how the producer described the Tomb Raider reboot to Collider:
"It’s something that, for me anyway, is different, you know rebooting a franchise that I didn’t produce to begin with. But there’s something about her character and going back to her roots, and that’s what we’re doing with this. You’re actually gonna meet her before she has all her powers as Lara Croft. It’s more of a character study, but it’s a really fun, fun adventure story."
King also had the following to offer Coming Soon, on the subject:
"[The 'Tomb Raider' reboot] does have a lot of really great characters, but it's a lot of action and a lot of fun, and for me, it's something very different. I've not really done a movie like that before, but I really gravitated to rebooting this franchise and we're going to give it a shot."
Both of the previous Angelina Jolie-headlined Tomb Raider movies were helmed by directors (specifically, Simon West and Jan de Bont) who specialize in mindless action films, both good and bad. It sounds as though the series' reboot is instead embracing the same approach utilized by Batman Begins and Casino Royale: explore the origins of the franchise's protagonist in a grittier fashion that dials down the (ludicrously) over-the-top set pieces and moves away from the semi-campy tone that its predecessors often embraced. In other words, a Tomb Raider movie that resembles the latest installment in the video game franchise.
Olivia Wilde has been touted as a potential great choice to follow in Jolie's footsteps and portray Miss Croft onscreen, based on both her appearance and action star prowess (see: her part in TRON: Legacy and, to a lesser degree, Cowboys & Aliens). Previous rumors aside, though, there's no guarantee that casting will actually happen.
However, since we're on the subject: it won't be long until moviegoers get to see Gina Carano show off her skills as an (onscreen) kickass heroine in Steven Soderbergh's Haywire. While we've mentioned her before as potentially being a worthy candidate to play Wonder Woman, the Mixed Martial Arts star could also fit nicely into Lara Croft's boots...
Stay tuned to hear more about the Tomb Raider reboot in the (relatively) near future.