The other day, it was revealed that GK Films had acquired rights to the Tomb Raider franchise and planned on rebooting the movie series. Tomb Raider, over time, has proven to be one of the most successful franchises around. Both in video games and being one of the most popular (and well done) video game movies. Netting studios as much money as the two movies did, it’s no surprise some want to revisit the franchise. However, with that revelation comes a question that many have argued over. Who will play Lara Croft?
Essentially, with every reboot comes new casting. Furthermore, Angelina Jolie (who previously played the adventurer) has stated in the past that she’s done with the franchise. Feeling that she’s accomplished what she wanted to with that role, Jolie has gone on record saying she has no desire to revisit the character. With that, we’re left wondering who could/should play this iconic character. Here, I go over my top choices for the new Lara Croft.
Now, I’ve seen many a argument about people complaining about certain women playing this role. Nine times out of ten, it always boils down to physical features. For me, the deciding factor should undoubtedly be the actress’s ability to play the role/personality and be a convincing action star. I’ve seen many ideas shot down from fanboys due to the fact that certain actresses don’t meet the physical requirements for Lara Croft. Namely: the complaint that Actress X doesn’t have the right cup size. Seriously? To these people, I say: Grow up. Get laid. If you’re deciding factor in casting for a role is based solely on breast size, then thank god you’re not a filmmaker. Lest, we’d end up with even a worse director than Uwe Boll making more video game movies. I’d much rather bring on an actress that has to fake an accent, or wear contacts, or happens to be a B-cup rather than a C-cup, so long as she’s the ideal one to embody the personality and character of Lara Croft. So with that said, without further ado, here we go.
1. Kate Beckinsale
Why she would work: Ok, first I must admit, I have a huge crush on Beckinsale. She’s one of the most gorgeous women in Hollywood today. Furthermore, with the Underworld franchise, she has proven herself to be a very capable actress in action roles. She has all the requirements as well: she’s gorgeous, she has the brown hair and brown eyes. She can play the independent/strong, intelligent role well. On top of that, she is in fact British, so she has the accent down. A transition from Selene to Lara Croft wouldn’t be much of a stretch at all for her.
Why she wouldn’t work: By time they start shooting this movie, she’ll be almost 40. Granted, she looks amazing for 40, but she’ll still be 40. The release implied that GK Films is looking to make a franchise (not just one movie). The ideal thing here may be to get a young actress and give her the role. Especially since they used the word “young” in describing the Lara Croft they wanted for their adventures. Unfortunately, Beckinsale may be too up in years to be a via option for this role anymore. But hey, I can hope right?
2. Alexa Davalos
Why she would work: Alexa has already proved herself a badass in The Chronicles of Riddick. Proving to be the acrobatic, tough, independent girl, she kicked some major ass in that movie. She’s pretty too. Not the supermodel type pretty, but the natural beauty down-to-Earth type that I feel Lara Croft actually should have. On top of that, she can have that rugged adventurer/badass look and still pull off pretty.
Why she wouldn’t work: She’s not exactly the ideal look of Lara Croft that I picture when I think of the character. Some work would definitely have to be done. For one, she’d definitely have to straighten that hair. Furthermore, she’s not exactly the greatest of actresses and doesn’t have that charisma that really commands attention that would most likely be needed in a role like this where she’d have to carry the movie. Not really sure she’s quite up for that lead role responsibility. Also, it’s not like she’s a big name either that could draw people to the box office.
3. Summer Glau
Why she would work: Through Firefly, Serenity and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Summer has proven she has the chops to hold her own in the action realm. She’s definitely pretty enough. And, I think with the popularity of Firefly, fanboys would love getting to see more of her. Furthermore, she’s been a ballerina most of her life as well as being trained in kung fu and kickboxing. So agility and kicking ass I’m sure she has down pat. At 30, she’s also young enough to play the role, but still old enough to be convincing as this worldly explorer that is Lara Croft.
Why she wouldn’t work: Physically I think she could pull the role off well. Something about her face though just doesn’t set right with me when it comes to seeing Lara Croft. It’s almost as if she’s got too much of that “exotic” look in her face and eyes. She just doesn’t fit right in that regard. Furthermore, she’s another that I’m not sure would be up for leading a movie just yet. Might not be able to pull off that slightly rugged look quite as well either. Again, while a name amongst fanboys, she’s not a box office draw type name that the studio may like to have.
4. Michelle Ryan
Why she would work: She’s definitely got the look. For me, she has kind of that same look as Kate Beckinsale (just younger). This could make for a good contemporary take on the Lara Croft character. She also has experience with action work after playing the lead in the 2007 Bionic Woman series. At the age of 27, she could be in the ideal range to play a young Lara Croft and continue the franchise for a while to come.
Why she wouldn’t work: Most of her work has been strictly TV work. As we know, sometimes actresses/actors have a hard time making that transition from TV to the big screen. Furthermore, while she has had a leading role in a TV series, that series did tank with horrible ratings. Yet another that definitely has no box office draw type name.
5. Ashley Greene
Why she would work: In the Twilight series, she’s proven a bit that she can handle her own. She’s a tomboy. Which, let’s face it, is exactly what Lara Croft is. Furthermore, she’s a pretty tomboy which would go excellent with this role. She’s accomplished in things such as taekwondo and other physical activities having grown up around boys. So, she has the agility and physical demands met. What’s more, she was even banned from sparring with other girls in her taekwondo classes as she kept “beating all the girls up”. So badass she can obviously pull off. Ashley has made something of a name for herself as one of the Twilight members. While not a big name, she’s definitely recognizable and something like “Starring Twilight’s Ashley Greene” could definitely draw some in I’m sure. Furthermore, being the tomboy she is, Ashley has stated she’d like to go on and play some strong female roles like superheroes or a Bond girl or even Wonder Woman. Lara Croft sounds like a perfect substitute for those.
Why she wouldn’t work: She may not be up for a leading role just yet. She hasn’t exactly proven herself as the greatest of actresses yet either. Also, while her association with Twilight does give her some recognition, it’s not like she’s a box office draw alone herself. Furthermore, while she is a tomboy, she may be a slight bit too dainty and pretty (in a soft way) to pull off the look of a believable Lara Croft.
6. Alison Carroll
Why she would work: She’s been the official Lara Croft model for the last three years. She IS Lara Croft in that sense. She’s got the looks, the attitude, and the persona. Furthermore, she’s an accomplished gymnast, so all that acrobatic stuff she could definitely handle, which would make her perfectly fine for action scenes.
Why she wouldn’t work: She’s not a proven actress by any means. She’s done a couple of movies (neither of which I’ve seen), so it’s not exactly like she has a ton of experience in the acting department. This means undoubtedly she’s a no-name that wouldn’t draw anybody to the theater if the studios were looking for this quality. Furthermore it means we have no idea if she can really act the part.
Jennifer Garner: She did well with the Elektra character, but like Beckinsale she is up there in years.
Olivia Wilde: Another that would appeal to fanboys, and is starting to get a bit of a name herself as well. In Tron: Legacy she proved she could handle herself.
Sienna Miller: Proved she could play the strong female character that can kick some ass when she played the Baroness in the G.I. Joe movie. Not exactly a strong actress though.
Rhona Mitra: Did well in her Underworld movie as an action chick. However, she’s another that’s up there in years.
Honestly, I feel that the studio’s best option here is going with a no-name (or lesser known) actress rather than a big name. Hence, the reason pretty much all my choices fall into that category. Hollywood really needs to start building new female action stars as they’re running thin in that department. Of course, you know they love to make money, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they sacrifice ability to play the role to substitute it with a name. If that’s the case, the only person I can remotely think of that would come close to fitting that criteria would be Jessica Biel. And she’s not exactly a great actress. I’m really drawing a blank on viable options for a big (moderately big) name action actress that isn’t getting up there in years. Another major reason they need to start building new ones. Have any ideas that I’m missing? Feel free to give your opinion below.