News and rumors of a reboot of the Tomb Raider film franchise have been kicking around for years – mostly centering on which actress will end up filling Angelina Jolie's hiking boots as Lara Croft. Even after the project acquired some actual heft and momentum when it was acquired by GK Films, it seemed to be taking its sweet time getting into production.
Part of the reason why the movie is taking so long may be its close relationship with the reboot of the Tomb Raider video game franchise. Since that particular game releases today – and to some decent critical buzz, no less – its film adaptation looks to be on the move once more.
Variety reports that GK Films has been working closely with video game developer Crystal Dynamics to shape the upcoming Tomb Raider movie. Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher says:
“They are working from this new take that we’ve given them... It was important for both of us to have a cohesive version of the franchise... We didn’t want to see a film version that was a continuation of the old Tomb Raider films.”
This implied adherence to the latest Tomb Raider's storyline would make the film reboot the first in its franchise to draw directly from the plot of its source material. It certainly wouldn't be the Tomb Raider of the mid-1990s – the franchise reboot casts Lara Croft as a fresh-eyed 21-year-old shipwrecked on an island full of scavenger cultists. The gritty, survival horror-tinged take on treasure-hunting is intended to show Lara's transformation from a wealthy, naive tourist to hard-boiled gunslinger.
As this newest Tomb Raider has been getting approving (and sometimes enthusiastic) marks from reviewers, sales are all but guaranteed to be more than respectable. Thus, it makes sense that GK Films is in heavy collaboration with the game-makers for the upcoming film adaptation. It's also in keeping with previous comments on the project that stated the movie would be more of a "character study" that will examine what makes Lara Croft tick. As such, we may end up seeing a rebooted movie directly lifted from the content of a rebooted video game.
This does raise the question of exactly how much of a direct adaptation of the game the film will end up being. Previously, the Tomb Raider films have been solidly PG-13 fare. The games' reboot, however, has been highlighted/called out for its incredibly gruesome, M-rated content. Can GK Films retain the spirit of this latest Tomb Raider while also keeping it palatable for general audiences?
This may not end up being much of an issue. Plenty of recent films (such as The Dark Knight) have pushed the boundaries of the PG-13 rating while also delivering an genuinely grim and unsettling experience. One need not directly show Lara planting an ice axe in a cultist's neck for an authentic Tomb Raider movie. And, obviously, movie audiences will not be subjected to Lara failing a quick-time event and getting impaled on rusty rebar over and over again.
Though it's still a long way from being a reality, the initial success of the Tomb Raider video game reboot all but guarantees GK Films moving forward with its film reboot. Seeing just how that movie takes shape will be interesting indeed.
Keep your eyes on Screen Rant for the latest news on the Tomb Raider reboot.