Tomb Raider to Reboot Without Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft
I’m not a Hollywood insider or anything, but I’ll bet there’s an idiom in L.A. that goes: when all else fails, reboot. Sequels, remakes and re-imaginings (whatever that means) aren’t new to Hollywood – but sometimes I’m forced to ask “why?”
Take, for example, the news that they’re making a new Tomb Raider movie, and how it’s reportedly going to be a reboot. I’m all for more Tomb Raider movies, as I didn’t find any thing wrong with the first several made – but is a reboot necessary?
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Tomb Raider is a media franchise that revolves around the adventures of the titular raider of tombs herself, Lara Croft. What started as a videogame released by Eidos Entertainment in 1996 quickly morphed into a worldwide phenomenon (mostly for adolescent boys) that eventually spawned a 2001 movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring none other than Angelina Jolie. That then led to the inevitable sequel: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life in 2003. Since then, the movie franchise has lain dormant, while the video game industry continued on, releasing the highly successful “Tomb Raider: Legend“ in 2006 and “Tomb Raider: Underworld” in 2008.
Crystal Dynamics is gearing up for another videogame release in 2011. In early January, Game Informer released a picture of a more rough and rugged Lara Croft. Crystal Dynamics claimed that the character redesign was intended to hearken “back to the original” design of the character (minus the pixelation and square corners, of course).
Perhaps Crystal Dynamics is hoping the new design of Lara will breathe some new life into the videogame series, but due to the success of Legend in 2006, this begs the question: is the upcoming videogame set to coincide with the new movie (or vice versa)?
If the answer to that question is “yes”, then I might be a bit worried.
As is usually the case with marriages of Hollywood and video games, they often end with each party not talking to one another, eventually leading to one or the other failing to live up to expectations – until ultimately everyone involved agrees that they should have just remained “friends” and never gotten so deeply invested in the relationship (actually, that sounds like just about every marriage at one point or another).
Possibly the only ray of light on this upcoming film is that it’s being written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby – the guys responsible for the fantastic Children of Men and the equally entertaining Iron Man. They also wrote the upcoming Cowboys and Aliens adaptation. The film also has Graham King and Tim Headington as producers. You may know them from such awesomeness as The Departed, Blood Diamond and Gangs of New York.
Yet, to the chagrin of many a fanboy, the studio is reportedly looking for someone to replace Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. They’re looking for someone who is lesser known – potentially a “no name” actress. Of note, Olivia Wilde, made famous by the 2010 Tron sequel Tron: Legacy, has denied rumors of being the next Lara Croft.
In case the search is not yet over, I’ve got two words for the casting director: Keira Knightley. She may be a big name actress, but when I look at the most recent interpretation of Lara, I see Keira. Check this out and tell me you don’t agree:
The filmmakers are looking for a separation from the previous movies, which is usually how reboots and remakes go. The next generation comes in, sweeps all the past continuity under a rug, and completely ignores what has come before. The problem with that is you get illogic that leads to incongruities such as Kahn recognizing Chekhov in Star Trek II (I may have tipped my Geek hand a bit too much on that one).
Here’s hoping that they don’t tweak the formula so much that we end up with another failed marriage. What do you think? Is Tomb Raider due for a reboot? Who should play Lara Croft? What story should they tell? Let us know in the comments section.