Fresh on the heels of Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. may have already found its newest female action star. Wielding a pickaxe and handmade bow, the newest iteration of Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft is rugged, resourceful, and ready to raid. In the film’s first trailer, Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) jumps off cliffs and dodges traps in a physically demanding performance.
Based on the popular Square Enix video game series, the Tomb Raider reboot introduces a 21-year-old Lara Croft that Vikander has called “fierce, tough, curious, [and] intelligent.” In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Vikander explained, “we’ve stripped away all of her experience. She hasn’t gone on an adventure just yet…This is the beginning.”
Director Roar Uthaug (The Wave) and screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) are responsible for this newest interpretation of Lara Croft. Uthaug, a longtime fan of the video games, said he’s always been drawn to strong female characters. “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,” he told IGN. “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.”
Vikander: New Action Heroine
For Vikander, Lara Croft will be a decidedly more physical role than her previous performances. The actress, who won an Oscar in 2016 for her supporting role in The Danish Girl, has said “to do an action role has always been a child’s dream of [hers].” The film reboot is more likely to draw comparisons to Die Hard’s John McClane or Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt than Angelina Jolie’s earlier Tomb Raider performances. Describing one stunt, Vikander said, “They threw me down that river—with my hands tied—about 50 times. I didn’t need to act, just react!”
Audiences have been anticipating Tomb Raider since its first set photos were revealed. With Rogue One, Wonder Woman, and Atomic Blonde all performing well at the box office, filmgoers have proven they’re eager for more female-driven action films. That comparison is not lost on Vikander, either. “I went to the cinema and saw Wonder Woman the other day,” the actress explained. “It’s a mixture of joy and sadness pouring over me, as I was thinking, ‘Oh, my God, I haven’t seen women onscreen like that.’ And I wondered how many stories there have there been throughout the years that haven’t been told. If Wonder Woman made such an impact, which it deserves to, then we need to use ten times as much force to make some change. Because it needs to happen.”
Tomb Raider arrives in theaters March 16, 2018.
Images: Warner Bros., Ilze Kitshoff