[Updated with new image and official synopsis]
Filming is underway on the Tomb Raider reboot, and the first images have popped up online. Alicia Vikander stars in the upcoming film directed by Roar Uthaug (The Wave). This new film will break away from the Angelina Jolie pictures by being more in line with the 2013 reboot of the video game, also titled “Tomb Raider” and its 2015 sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider. Rather than a clean tank top and perfectly styled hair, this new movie is meant to evoke the gritty, life-or-death stakes evoked by the recent video games.
The new film also has a different plot. Per Vanity Fair, “seven years after the disappearance of her father, 21-year-old Lara has refused to take the reins of his global business empire, instead working as a bike courier in London while taking college classes. Eventually she becomes inspired to investigate her father’s disappearance and travels to his last-known location: a tomb on an island somewhere off the coast of Japan.” A tomb will be raided! Archeological procedure will be ignored! This is truly in line with the recent games.
Vikander tells Vanity Fair that the reason she took the role was because:
“I think people can identify with her for lots of different reasons, but for me I very much see her as a model for many young women. She’s trying to carve out her place in the world and connect her future with her past. She also has a fantastic mix of traits—tough, smart, vulnerable, plus she’s kick ass! She is also uniquely different to other characters I have taken on previously. It’s a lot of fun trying to get into Lara’s head and the challenge of getting to grips with such a physical role is an element of this project that I find an absolute thrill.”
GQ spoke to Uthaug and got some details on how he plans to break the streak of bad video game movies:
“We drew a lot of inspiration and reference from the game and the entire Tomb Raider canon to develop our world, and I believe fans will recognize that. At the same time, this is a completely different theatrical approach to Lara Croft that will offer something new in the origin and development of the character. It’s a story that not only highlights her incredible physical accomplishments but delves deeper into her humanity.”
Uthaug also makes clear that his film is a clean break from the Jolie pictures and will be more in line with the recent video games.
Personally, I think Tomb Raider has a serious shot at being a solid video game movie because it’s basically just a straight adventure story. There’s no need to get bogged down in mythology or sci-fi distractions or massive world building. Tomb Raider is the IP, but with a solid script about a young woman going on an adventure in the wilderness, there’s no reason this movie can’t succeed as long as it keeps things simple and fun.
Tomb Raider opens March 16, 2018 and also stars Dominic West, Walton Goggins, and Daniel Wu.