With the new Lara Croft reboot franchise in the works and The Force Awakens actress Daisy Ridley being considered for the titular role, I can no longer picture anyone else taking up the mantle.
On March 10, Deadline reported that Daisy Ridley was one of many actresses being considered to helm the franchise. Though nothing official has been offered yet, on March 21, The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Ridley about the opportunity.
As it turns out, Ridley is definitely on board. She’s trying to pack as much into her schedule as possible, and even though she’s the star of the new trilogy of Star Wars films, it sounds like she has the time to take on another franchise. THR reports the actress has been in talks, but no official offer has been made. “I’m waiting for someone to say, ‘I want you, let’s do it’,” Ridley tells THR, which makes it sound like she’s already made her decision. Her Force Awakens co-star John Boyega is rooting for her, too.
This new franchise will be a reboot of the original duology starring Angelina Jolie, who not only eerily looked the part, but handled the role with strength and grace. Having grown up watching my cousin play these games (but rarely having the nerve to jump in myself), I always found Jolie to be the perfect Lara Croft. She was sexy, strong, smart, and compassionate. The movies were as much about the treasures she found as they were about her familial struggles. Plus, it was one of those rare action movies with a female lead, and that was something I could definitely get behind.
Learning they were planning to reboot the franchise, I was immediately excited about the prospect. Sequels and reboots and remakes are all the rage these days, and it can get tiring, but I always felt like Jolie’s Tomb Raider movies never got a fair shake. The first one was great, but the second one is a bit forgettable. I always wanted more, and to learn that we’ll be getting just that is something I can’t pass up. I’ll be rooting for this franchise, and I’ll especially be rooting for Daisy Ridley to land the main role.
If there’s anyone on the planet who has yet to see The Force Awakens, do yourself a favor and give it a go. As someone whose love of Star Wars started with Episode VII, I can attest that you don’t have to be a long-time fan to enjoy the movie, and Daisy Ridley is a huge part of that.
In a lot of ways, Rey is quite similar to Lara Croft. As a scavenger, she finds herself in precarious positions as often as Lara does while excavating tombs and ruins. Rey is worldly in a similar way to Lara, though Rey’s living conditions in the beginning of Force Awakens are in contrast to Lara Croft’s wealthy upbringing. Still, they both exude a power that comes from within; a determination that means you don’t for a second question whether or not they have the will to do what must be done.
Ridley’s portrayal of Rey is the reason why I think she would make an incredible Lara Croft. Angelina Jolie will always look more the part in my mind, but with a long braid and that characteristic outfit, I’m sure once I see Ridley done up, I won’t have any qualms.
But it’s so much more than physical appearance. It’s in the way Rey holds herself, like even the strongest wind couldn’t knock her over. I love how she eats, how she runs, the way she holds her arms, like she’s not trying to impress anyone or fit into the mold of how a woman should act. Feet planted, shoulders squared, jaw set, I have no doubts Rey will get the job done, and yet that doesn’t mean she isn’t scared of what’s to come. It’s a man’s world for Lara Croft, and yet it’s important that she not become closed off and cold. She must be able to crack codes and jump from rocky ledge to rocky ledge while also reminding us that her past is tragic and complicated. Daisy Ridley can do all this and more. After all, we already saw a version of this story with Rey.
It’s also important to note the reboot will focus on 2013’s Tomb Raider video game, which showed Lara Croft as an archaeology student for the first time. This will not be a retelling of what we saw in Angelina Jolie’s movies, but rather a look into her past when she was still learning her craft. The first installment of the reboot video game franchise saw Lara on her inaugural mission, with the followup game, Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015), taking place a year later.
The Tomb Raider reboot movie franchise could end up breathing new life into the story, giving a new generation a different version of Lara Croft to root for. Thanks to Star Wars, Daisy Ridley would bring an incredible amount of star power to the role, but she would also bring to the table everything that made Rey such an interesting character in The Force Awakens. If they decide to cast someone else for the film, she’ll have to exceed all my expectations for Daisy Ridley before I jump on board.