Tomb Raider protagonist Lara Croft might be one of the most iconic characters in video game history, but her two previous cinematic adaptations received a rather tepid response from fans and critics. Since there doesn't seem to be anything Hollywood enjoys more than hitting the reset button on major franchises, it came as no surprise when it was announced earlier this year that GK Films had acquired the rights to reboot Tomb Raider.
Prior to the involvement of producers Graham King (Rango, The Town) and Tim Headington (The Tourist), the Tomb Raider reboot bounced in and out of development for several years under the guidance of Terminator Salvation producer Dan Lin. Despite the fact that he's no longer involved with the project, Lin's decision to take a more grounded and character-driven approach to the material seems to have endured.
The Tomb Raider reboot has been targeted for a 2013 release and although there's no director attached yet, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby have been hired to write the script. The pair previously penned the first Iron Man and most recently worked on this summer's upcoming sci-fi/western mashup, Cowboys & Aliens. They also received an Academy Award nomination for their Children of Men screenplay.
The new Tomb Raider will be an origin story centered around a younger Lara Croft, and the writers are hoping that their incarnation of the character "solidifies her place alongside Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor in the pantheon of great female action heroes."
The earlier Tomb Raider films may have been underwhelming overall, but Angelina Jolie was a pretty inspired choice for the lead role. There's no doubt that her performance will cast a fairly large shadow for her successor, and other than Olivia Wilde, none of the actresses who have been linked to the project have inspired much confidence. Speaking of which - given the current state of her career, I wonder if Megan Fox is still so vehemently opposed to starring in the film now?
As for the proposed origin story, the upcoming video game reboot has certainly showcased the potential for a more realistic take on Lara and the Tomb Raider mythology. It may be too bold a departure for some fans, but dialing back on a few of the more over the top elements could go a long way in revitalizing both the video game and film franchises.
The developers of the new Tomb Raider game have acknowledged how important it was for them to take risks when it came to the conventions of the series - and the filmmakers behind Lara's big screen reboot would probably be well-served by utilizing a similar strategy. Of course, a lot of that will depend on who's selected to direct the film and which actress they cast as the new Lara Croft.
In the meantime, we'll keep you updated on the development of the Tomb Raider reboot.