‘Tomb Raider’ Reboot Casts Alicia Vikander As Lara Croft

It’s official, the Tomb Raider reboot will star Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) in the role of Lara Croft. Vikander signed on after MGM and Warner Bros. spent months searching for the right actress to take on the iconic role – a casting process which reportedly circled Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley before signing Alicia Vikander earlier this week.

Vikander won an Oscar for her role in The Danish Girl, and received no end of praise for her remarkable work in last year’s Ex Machina in which she portrayed a sentient android struggling against a ruthless creator (Oscar Isaac). According to ScreenCrush, the upcoming Tomb Raider will feature a younger, untested Lara Croft bravely facing her first adventure — sounds familiar? The recent Square Enix reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise features a similar storyline, and the new Lara Croft has received widespread critical acclaim for her toughness, grit, and endurance.

It should come as little surprise then that the latest Tomb Raider film outing – which will be a reboot for the character – would follow suit, incorporating the story of the latest video game version of Lara Croft which has garnered so much acclaim from critics and gamers alike. The latest version of Lara Croft is tougher, less gimmicky and a lot less sexist, aspects which have been widely covered by gaming news outlets.

Alicia Vikander will step into Lara Croft’s shoes sometime in 2017, but the film reportedly doesn’t have a finalized script yet, leading some to speculate that the film will likely be pushed into 2018 – or later. Roar Uthaug is attached to direct, taking on the latest Tomb Raider after the release of his most recent thriller The Wave.

The Tomb Raider role could be a big deal for Alicia Vikander, who was almost unknown in Hollywood just a year ago, prior to the release of two films which cemented her chops as an actress and earned her an Oscar. According to the Hollywood Reporter, heading up Tomb Raider was a big deal for Angelina Jolie also, who had previously played Lara Croft on the big screen, turning her into a “franchise-carrying international star.”

Tomb Raider started out as a modest title on the original PlayStation console, in which a blocky, pixelated (and controversially buxom) heroine somersaulted and flipped her way through dungeons, caves, and exotic jungles all while wearing a skin-tight shirt and short shorts. Since then, Lara Croft has met with mixed success as a video game franchise. Eidos Interactive, the original creator of the character and the video game franchise, notoriously released a large number of Tomb Raider games which met with derision and negative reviews by video game critics.

The Tomb Raider series was always a financial hit, and an important marketing tool for Sony and Eidos Interactive, but it wasn’t until 2013 that Lara Croft really matured. When Square Enix took over, Lara Croft really shed what was holding her back: those short shorts and that skin tight top. The new Lara Croft first featured in 2013’s Rise Of The Tomb Raider was younger, less experienced, but also a lot tougher than her earlier incarnation.

The new Lara Croft doesn’t somersault and backflip off of dinosaurs quite as often as the old one did. The new Lara is more grounded and gritty. She crawls through mud, builds a bow and arrow by hand, and learns how to survive against all odds. If the new Tomb Raider is any indication, Alicia Vikander’s got some tough scenes ahead of her – the video game starts off with a shipwreck and our heroine burning shut a wound on her arm. Not to mention the mud which the new Lara Croft crawls through in the Tomb Raider games.

[Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]