Say what you will about Hollywood – it still remains an industry that never gives up. Even in the face of repeated abject failure, movie executives continue to believe that the cinematic adaptation of video games is the holy grail of film production. The assumption that, if someone can just find the right combination of gaming source material, star and filmmaker, then that person will have solved a decades-old mystery, is a myth that simply refuses to die. Hence, we have anticipation for Tomb Raider.
We already have a Tomb Raider film franchise – starring Angelina Jolie as lead character, Lara Croft – but that fizzled out in 2003 after just two lacklustre movies. In the meantime, many other video games have been adapted, and have failed, including two this year – Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed. But still, the game films continue to roll out – accompanied by sceptical think-pieces asking if now is the time for the video-game-adaptation ‘curse’ to be broken.
The Tomb Raider video game itself was rebooted in 2013, and this fresh cinematic attempt will apparently follow closely in line with that – depicting Croft searching for her father, who’s been missing for an extended period of time. Reports also suggest that the film is about to head into production – with principal photography set to start in January 2017 in locations that include the UK and South Africa. This version stars Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander as a younger Lara Croft who is still, essentially, honing her famous skill-set.
Tomb Raider will also star Walton Goggins as an as-yet unidentified villain, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (The Wave). The project spawns from a screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet – so at the very least, we can hope for a story that isn’t entirely about pandering to the male gaze. The pressure will undoubtedly be on for Tomb Raider, however, when it finally reaches the big screen in March 2018, with the still unrealized dreams of video game adaptation fans firmly attached.