Lara Croft is coming back, but it won’t be Angelina Jolie wearing the short shorts this time around. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a new big screen reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise is in the works without the original’s signature star.
Producer Graham King and his GK Films have bought the movie rights to the videogame heroine and plans to have a new film in theaters by 2013. According to his production company, the new film will be “create daring new adventures for the young and dynamic Lara Croft.” The key word there, clearly, is “young.” Of course, it would be absurd to call Jolie old. At 35 she is still very much in her prime. But for an industry that judges its female stars by the strict law of diminishing returns as they age, it’s no surprise.
British producer King helmed a lot of big-name projects including The Aviator, The Departed, The Town and Jolie’s last film, The Tourist. The original Lara Croft: Tomb Raider came out in 2001 and grossed more than $270 million worldwide while helping to turn Jolie into in international superstar. It was followed in 2003 by the sequel Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, which grossed another $156 million worldwide. Granted, the films weren’t Shakespeare. In fact, I recall The Cradle of Life being so bad it is probably best watched on mute so one can just enjoy the visuals.
The question now, of course, turns to who will strap on the hip holsters instead. The list of twenty-something actresses who could fit the bill is long. And one can assume that role will be highly sought after since there aren’t too chances to lead big-budget action franchises for women out there.
Here are a sampling of suggestions. From this side of the pond: Olivia Wilde (we already know she looks great in skin-tight body suits thanks to Tron Legacy), Mila Kunis (she’s like Jolie’s tiny, sassy niece as is), Megan Fox (I know, but I just watched Jennifer’s Body for the first time and she wasn’t terrible) and Amber Heard (remember, hair dye is cheap).
From the proper side of the pond, since Lady Croft is British after all: Gemma Arterton (she was already in a Bond movie), Rebecca Hall (she certainly could act the hell out of the part), Hayley Atwell (if Kate Beckinsale can be an action star, why not?) and Katie McGrath (look, I know she’s Irish, but I would kill to see her in the Lara Croft togs).
Of course, the bigger question could be why they’re rebooting the franchise at all. Not to look gift horse bearing a female-fronted action movie in the mouth, but do we really need to keep remaking the same female heroine roles? Reboots of Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer are all in the works already. And there are continually rumors of the Aliens franchise returning. While I might actually check out some of these remakes when they come out, I can’t help thinking Hollywood should try harder. Sure, Buffy and Wonder Woman and even Lara Croft are strong, iconic female characters, but how about writing us some new ones instead of rehashing the old ones.
So, what do you think? Excited about a new Lara Croft? And who should fill Angie’s short shorts?