In the days of old –before 1975, really-, when every film made was never considered a “franchise” one, the actors chosen for the lead roles did not have to be young, skinny and looking like they just stepped out of an intensive five year fitness regime.
These days, Hollywood seems to only want films that they can turn into multiple films. Franchises are the name of the game. Thus, while rebooting the computer game Tomb Raider, the makers –perhaps taking a page from other recent movie reboots like James Bond and Star Trek- have made Lara Croft a 21 year-old archeologist whose backstory now details her as “a frightened young woman who is forced to become a hardened survivor when she is shipwrecked on a dangerous island.”
Thus the game makers, Crystal Dynamics, are also working with GK Films in hopes of rebooting the film franchise in much the same way. Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher says: “They are working from this new take that we’ve given them. It’s a good partnership. We’re seeing the challenges through the same lens. It was important for both of us to have a cohesive version of the franchise. We didn’t want to see a film version that was a continuation of the old Tomb Raider films.”
While 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider that starred Angelina Jolie (who was 25 at the time) made $275 million worldwide (based on $115 million budget), it suffered some scathing reviews –sloppy direction and looking too much like the video game it was based on. Still, Paramount was cautious at first in producing a sequel, but eventually relented, dropping a much smaller budgeted (some $20 million less than the first film) follow-up, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in 2003. Much like the first film, it took a hit with the critics, but they were slightly better. Still, the film only took in $155 million, dooming the franchise as a feature film series.
Now a decade later, with the new, updated video game getting high praise, it’s only a matter of time before a reboot of then film franchise will grace the silver screen. The question is, can they make a good film that produces great visuals along with a great, well-written story, or will they just thrust a skinny girl in a tight outfit on the screen, surround her with CGI effects and hope no one pays attention to the script?