Maybe I’m Too Old: Thoughts and Reservations on the Tomb Raider Film Reboot

I’m scared about the new Tomb Raider film reboot and here’s why:

If you’ve been following Common Room for at least a few months, you’ll know I am a mega Tomb Raider fan. I’ve been with the franchise for 17, near 18, years now and I have a lot of feels when it comes to anything Tomb Raider related.

Tomb Raider Film Reboot Feels

I adored classic Lara, and I felt it was about time for the franchise to be rebooted, as Classic was getting a bit stale. I enjoyed the rebooted first game and felt Rise of the Tomb Raider was superior to 2013 TR. As I watched the success of both games, I realized that one day soon we would be getting news of a new film. I mean, it had to happen, right?

Sure enough, we started hearing rumors a movie was underway; shortly after The Force Awakens was released, we started hearing Daisy Ridley might be taking over the video game heroine. That rumor was an interesting one and not one I was completely against, but I had my hopes that an actress such as Tatiana Malsany would take over the role. An actress that could embody both reboot Lara and classic.

Tomb Raider Film Reboot Tatiana Malsany

But again, I wasn’t too upset by the idea of Daisy – she did great as Rey. I did feel that maybe she was too “new” to take on such an established character like Lara, and I hated myself for thinking that, but there you have it.

Fast-forward to recent news – neither Daisy Ridley nor Tatiana Malsany were chosen for the role of Lara. Alicia Vikander has taken over that role, and my first thought was, “Who?” I did some research and realized she was in Ex Machina, a film I plan on seeing yet haven’t had a chance to.

She physically looks the part of reboot Lara, but I don’t know her work well enough to decide how I feel on the topic. She’s still so “new” that I’m having the same thoughts I had with Daisy taking over, and I’m still wishing for an actress that could embody reboot and classic.

While I get that Tatiana is still considered new, her work in Orphan Black shows the range of her acting abilities and that she can take on very complex roles. That speaks volumes to me.

In the grand scheme of things, my opinion doesn’t matter and if people disagree with me, that is perfectly acceptable. We all have our beliefs and ideas.

Even though I know my opinion is small and insignificant on any Hollywood topic, I still want to share it because I am so hesitant for this film regardless of casting. Why? Let’s take a look.

Will the Tomb Raider Film Reboot Use the 2013 Game Storyline?

First off, my biggest worry – will the film be a film adaptation of the 2013 game? Gods I hope not. The thing with new video games is they’re basically movies themselves. Depending on the game you’re playing, they’re really a Choose Your Own Adventure or they give you the chance to “act out” the story like Tomb Raider (as it isn’t an RPG).

Naturally, anytime I hear that a video game is getting a film adaptation, I cringe a little. They’re either absolutely horrible or are just the same story as the game we spent $$ on to play.

I feel that direct adaptations of video games are vastly different than a book adaptation. Video games have the, well, video component that books don’t. It makes sense to adapt a story like, say, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. But to adapt the exact same story you just played through? I don’t know – it’s weird to me.

So, I’m worried that Hollywood is going to just take 2013 Tomb Raider and rehash it, which would be boring. I’d love to see them further Lara’s adventures with the film like they did with the 2001 movie. Granted, I hope it isn’t as terrible as that film (though, let’s face it, that movie was incredible, no?) but I liked the idea of just coming in at the beginning of a completely new adventure.

Tomb Raider Film Reboot 2001 Lara Croft

We all know Lara’s backstory – we don’t need a million movies to show it over and over again (I’m looking at you Spider-Man). (Editor’s Note: And Batman, amiright?)

I’m also worried about a super dark, emotion-fest like the latest superhero films. The rebooted games do take a darker, more serious turn, but they add in some fun, sassy elements that keep it from being too Dark Knight Rises. But, I have this feeling that Lara and the Tomb Raider film reboot will be like the latest versions of pretty much every recent superhero film.

One thing that I have always loved about the franchise is the cheesiness of the games and Lara. The horribly awesome one-liners, the actual winks at the camera, the cheesy music that makes you laugh while trying to kill baddies. The 2001 film captured this and yes, it was a horrible film, but it was so terrible that it was incredible.

And I’m afraid the Tomb Raider film reboot will be terrible, but not bad enough to redeem it and make it a cult favorite.

Can the Actress Portray Both Reboot and Classic Lara?

Again, I hate myself for thinking or asking this because I think any actress or actor deserves a chance at portraying a classic character. But…

Can she really handle the classic heroine? The heroine that blasted onto the gaming scene with her dual pistols, showing gaming execs that, hells yes, a female-led video game can be successful. That’s a lot to live up to so naturally I am wondering if someone relatively “new” to the film scene will be able to take on Lara. I feel that anyone who takes on Lara “today” needs to be strong enough to prove this point yet again.

Maybe it’s because I’ve played for so long, but when I think of the film, I think of someone who can easily portray reboot and classic. For me, that feels like a necessity.

In all reality, I feel like Alicia was only chosen due to the fact that she does bear a remarkable resemblance to the new Lara. That fact is what truly makes me nervous. Did they only cast her due to her striking similarity? Did that override whether or not she could carry this character through a few films? I sure hope not, but I don’t have a lot of faith in Hollywood.

I’ll give her chance; I’ll give the movie a chance. This doesn’t erase my hesitations, though. The film does have a lot of potential and it has a strong chance of going from film to films, but will it make it? Will the director capture Lara for both classic and reboot fans? Will this be another adventure to add to her story or will we have to re-watch the game we’ve all already played?


What are YOUR thoughts on the Tomb Raider film reboot?