Square Enix's latest reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise saw the video game series' heroine taken back to her roots in an origin story that showed a naïve, untrained young scholar begin on the path towards becoming the fearless explorer/warrior that players (and moviegoers) have seen portrayed before. The reboot might best be considered a calculated risk that mostly paid off - the game reportedly sold over a million copies within two days of its release (though still undersold according to Square Enix's expectations) - and received generally favorable reviews from critics.
Previously, the film rights were acquired by GK Films a couple of years ago, but things have gone very quiet on that front since then. Until, recent developments.
Now, THR reports that MGM is partnering with GK in order to begin development on the film - with MGM's CEO Gary Barber and GK Films' founder Graham King jointly announcing the new partnership along with King's intent to act as producer.
Graham King has produced a large number of successes in the past, including Rango, The Departed and Argo, though it's probably best to wait for news on a screenwriter, director and star before assessing how much of a success this new Tomb Raider movie is likely to be. The video game has already been adapted for the screen twice, with Angelina Jolie in the leading role for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
The films were based on the series in general, as opposed to having a plot from any particular one of the games, but neither film was an origin story and the first opened with Lara already established as a successful and accomplished collector of ancient artifacts. MGM and GK Films' Tomb Raider movie will be a full reboot, separate from Paramount Pictures' much-maligned franchise, and though it might not be a direct adaptation of the latest video game, it will definitely be an origin story.
Graham King said during the project's inception:
"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."
Jolie is not likely to be brought back to play Lara again but there are still a number of excellent candidates out there for the character. Megan Fox has firmly turned down the role but rumors and interest surrounding TRON: Legacy star Olivia Wilde began spreading in 2011 - after the actress was seen sporting a Lara Croft costume for a House M.D. photoshoot.
Another option for consideration is Camilla Luddington, who voiced Lara in the recent video game and has also had recurring roles in True Blood, Grey's Anatomy and Californication (as well as playing Kate Middleton in the best-forgotten TV movie William & Kate).
Since the talent roster is still wide open, let us know your fantasy casting for the new Tomb Raider movie - along with your ideal choices for the screenwriter and director in the comments.
We'll let you know as soon as MGM announce a release date for Tomb Raider.