Alicia Vikander is having a great moment. The Swedish star has been announced as the new Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot from MGM and GK Films. Variety reports that other actresses, including Daisy Ridley, read for the part, but Vikander was always the first choice. According to insiders the studio delayed the announcement pending a new draft of the script.
It was a small delay in the grand scheme, since fans have been waiting for this movie for nearly a decade. Following 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and 2003’s The Cradle of Life, which both starred Angelina Jolie, a third movie was rumored as early as 2007, and officially announced in 2009. After years with no progress, GK Films acquired the feature rights in 2011 and have been putting the project together ever since.
Angelina Jolie’s version of Croft was pretty good, but she only had one emotion – badass:
In 2013 a reboot of the game was released, refreshing the series after 13 years and 9 versions of the game. The new Tomb Raider focused on Croft’s origin story on the island of Yamatai, and the upcoming feature film will draw inspiration from this version of the game’s story, featuring a young Croft on her first adventure.
This is Vikander’s first foray into a big franchise property, although she’s had incredible success the past two years with a variety of projects. A working actress since 2006, she appeared in genre films like Anna Karenina and Seventh Son, but really popped up on the US entertainment radar in early 2015, as Ex Machina’s eerie, fragile A.I. Ava. Later that same year she co-starred in spy comedy The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and romantic biopic The Danish Girl, for which she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
In that, Vikander mimics her Croft feature film predecessor Angelina Jolie, who also won a Best Supporting Actress, for Girl, Interrupted just prior to her turn in the Tomb Raider franchise.
Tomb Raider will be directed by Roar Uthaug, who told IGN he hopes to humanize the character:
I think making Lara Croft feel like a real human being, that’s definitely something we want to bring to the big screen as well. I think we’ll want to make people relate to Lara as a character. I’m hoping to bring some of my Norwegian sensibilities to the franchise.
That’s something that’s reflective of the art in the most recent iteration of the game, which seems to give Croft depth and emotions that were missing in the older character.
Uthaug is known for his disaster film The Wave, which hit all the notes of a Hollywood studio project on a bite-sized budget. If he succeeds with TR he’ll join names like Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Tim Miller (Deadpool) in a small group of directors who successfully made the leap from relatively unknown to blockbuster status.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was one of my favorite films growing up, so it’s definitely a dream to work in that kind of genre. I think we’ll want to make it feel like a modern action movie and to make what’s going on feel like it’s going on for real.
There are rumors Tomb Raider will hit theaters October 7, 2017 but we’ll keep you posted on official news. Prior to then, Vikander can be seen in Tulip Fever, The Light Between Oceans, and this summer’s Jason Bourne.