The writer of the 2013 Tomb Raider video game reboot would love the series to explore a much older version of Lara Croft. The original Tomb Raider was released in 1996, and lead character Lara Croft became an instant icon. The series quickly spawned a number of sequels and two high-profile movies starring Angelina Jolie, but the quality of the games and interest in Lara started to dip somewhat in the mid-2000s.
The series was given a gritty reinvention with 2013's Tomb Raider, which found Lara as a newbie to the raiding of tombs. Thankfully the makeover worked, receiving great reviews and proving to be a big hit, in addition to bringing back jaded fans and attracting a new generation. An equally acclaimed sequel titled Rise of the Tomb Raider followed in 2015, and now a movie based on the reboot game is due in theaters this Friday, starring Alicia Vikander as Lara.
Lara has been a gaming icon for over 20 years now, but in a new retrospective interview with EW, Rhianna Pratchett - writer of both the reboot Tomb Raider game and its sequel - expressed a desire to see the games explore an older version of Lara:
I’d love to write an older Lara in her 50s, who’s grizzled and war-torn because we get that with male protagonists. Snake [from Metal Gear] has evolved over the years, and so has Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell: He’s been allowed to get older, and I’d love to see that with a character like Lara, as older and battle-hardened. And maybe she has to take another character under her wing, which is often done with dad figures in games — it’s the ‘dad-ification’ of games, like John in The Last of Us or Booker in BioShock Infinite.
I’d also be interested in seeing Lara as a mother. How would that work? How would she even have time? I’d love to see more action moms in games. There’s so much we can do, so many stories we can tell, it feels like we’re just scratching the surface.
While video game writing has gotten slightly more nuanced and complex over the years, games rarely than to explore older heroes, or aging in general. Like Pratchett mentioned, some games like Metal Gear Solid 4: The Guns Of The Patriots and Splinter Cell have allowed their heroes to age, as have titles like Max Payne 3, but most big franchises generally like to keep their heroes young. That's a shame, because like the writer mentions there's a lot of potential with the idea of framing an icon like Lara in a whole new light. An older, 50+ take on the character would be a fresh angle to explore, but it feels unlikely to happen anytime soon.
The last decade or so has also seen the rise of the Geri-action genre, with films like Taken and The Expendables featuring older actors kicking ass. Unfortunately, there aren't many examples of an older female star getting similar roles, which is one of the reasons James Cameron wanted Linda Hamilton to come back as Sarah Connor for Terminator 6. Depending on the reception to that movie, maybe more films and video games - like Tomb Raider - will give older female heroes a chance to shine.
- Tomb Raider (2018) release date: Mar 16, 2018