Daisy Ridley is reportedly being considered for the lead role of Lara Croft, the gun-slinging, butt-kicking heroine of the Tomb Raider video game series, in a reboot of the failed movie franchise, Deadline is reporting.
Ridley, the fresh-faced British actress who was virtually unknown until she landed the lead role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is on the short list of actresses being considered for what will likely be one of the most coveted roles for all of the young actresses in the industry.
Deadline is quick to point out that no contracts have been signed, and no talks have even taken place, and that Ridley’s attachment to the project is only in the “talking about it” stage.
As a video game, Tomb Raider has been one of the most popular, successful, and enduring franchises in video game history. Dating back to the 1996 PlayStation original, the franchise has spawned 11 sequels, spinoffs, and related games.
— LeHub (@LeHubOnLine) January 30, 2016
The Tomb Raider series follows English archaeologist Lara Croft, who was orphaned at a young age, as she solves puzzles and battles ghosts, demons, monsters, rival archaeologists, and just about everything else you can think of as she, well, raids tombs, often saving the world in the process.
Like all long-running video game franchises, Tomb Raider has had its share of missteps. The 2008 release, Tomb Raider: Underworld, received mixed-to-mostly-negative reviews, and the franchise languished for five years.
In 2013, developer Crystal Dynamics rebooted the franchise, re-creating the elements of the original series that made the franchise great, and focusing specifically on Lara Croft’s origin story. The new Tomb Raider was a critical smash and a hit with fans, and the new reboot, according to video game watchers, injected new life and new interest in the series. Tomb Raider (2013) was followed in 2015 by Rise of the Tomb Raider, also well-received with fans and critics alike.
However, as seems to be the case with movies based on video games, Tomb Raider, as a film franchise, has been a dud. In 2001, Angelina Jolie, at the time at the peak of her career as an action-movie actress, appeared in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
— GetYourTLC (@Tlc4u1) March 10, 2016
Although the Jolie film was a box office success, it was a critical failure, gaining only 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can’t save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.”
A 2003 sequel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, was also a critical failure, and the franchise hasn’t been touched, on the film side, for over a decade.
With new life being injected into the video game franchise, talk has once again turned to rebooting Tomb Raider on film, as well, says Deadline writer Ali Jaafar.
“The latest adaptation, which has been in development for several years, received a jolt of adrenaline when the video game series was rebooted by game developer Square Enix with 2013’s Tomb Raider, which depicted Croft’s first adventure as an archaeology student, and follow-up Rise Of The Tomb Raider. That younger take on the character’s origin and path to derring-do are believed to have given the film’s producers some creative guidance.”
Daisy Ridley, meanwhile, is currently busy with Star Wars: Episode VIII, and doesn’t have any other film projects in the works.
Do you believe Daisy Ridley will make a convincing Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]