‘Tomb Raider’ Director Roar Uthaug on Breaking the Video Game Movie Curse

     March 12, 2018

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With Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ Tomb Raider opening this weekend, I recently saw down with director Roar Uthaug for an exclusive video interview. He talked about why it has been so tough to make video game movies work, if he knew about the video game movie curse when he signed on, how he landed the job, what it was like to direct a movie with a 100-day shoot, deleted scenes, what he learned from early screenings, as well as what was it about Tomb Raider that made him want to make it his American debut, and a lot more.

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Image via Warner Bros.

As most of you know, the action/adventure remake of Tomb Raider and the original video game stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft. In this new version, Lara Croft is a 21-year-old bike courier in East London who refuses to follow in her father’s entrepreneurial footsteps. Once she decides to search for her father’s last-known destination though (a fabled tomb on a mythical island off the coast of Japan), she must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. Tomb Raider also stars Dominic WestWalton GogginsDaniel WuDerek Jacobi, and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Check out what Roar Uthaug had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis.

Roar Uthaug:

  • Did he know about the video game movie curse when he signed on?
  • Why has it been so tough to make video game movies work on movie screens?
  • What was it about Tomb Raider that made him want to make this his American debut?
  • How did he land the job? Did he come in with a pitch?
  • How much of what he pitched that first day ended up in the film?
  • What was it like to direct a movie with a 100-day shoot?
  • What was he most nervous to film before shooting began?
  • What did he learn from friends and family screenings that impacted the finished film?
  • How long was his first cut comparted to the finished film?
  • Deleted scenes talk.
  • When did he finish the movie?
  • What cameras did he use and why?
  • What did he take away the experience of making a big Hollywood movie?
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Image via Warner Bros.

Here’s the official synopsis for Tomb Raider:

Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

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Leaving everything she knows behind, Lara goes in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

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