‘Tomb Raider’ reboot presents a young, modern Lara Croft
BEVERLY HILLS — Meet Lara Croft before she becomes the action hero of GK Films, MGM Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Tomb Raider” reboot.
“You have to figure out how you could tell a story for a 2018 audience,” said producer Graham King, “I didn’t want it to feel like a ‘90s movie.”
Alicia Vikander plays Lara Croft, Dominic West as Richard Croft, Walton Goggins as Mathias Vogel, and Daniel Wu as Lu Ren. All create a good balance with the mixture of both realistic human emotions and heroic action scenes.
This isn’t the accomplished Tomb Raider that Angelina Jolie beautifully portrays, or a romantic tearjerker; this is an emotional 21-year-old Lara trying to figure her life out.
Lara lives a life set in modern time London, as an unfocused and independent daughter of Richard Croft, an eccentric adventurer and businessman.
While struggling to pay rent with her food delivery job, she feels the need to figure out the details to what happened to her father.
According to the presser print out, Lara is “Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him; even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her…earning her the name Tomb Raider.”
“Slowly but surely she turns into Lara Croft organically because she has to defend herself,” explained King.
The young Croft defends herself on an island from mercenaries searching for the same thing that her adventurer father set sail for in the past.
“The mythology behind it is mainly she goes to this island, she has no idea what is on the island and what is coming. And the hardest part of putting this movie together in a screenplay and for a writer was how to keep an audience engaged,” said King on how they creatively made obstacles for Lara.
WATCH: “Tomb Raider” reboot trailer.
“To me it was important to make her realistic and make the movie realistic to really make the audience feel like this is a real girl going through real situations and feel like ‘that could be me’…‘I could be doing that,” said director Roar Uthaug of this adaptation.
Vikander, who plays, Lara expressed the importance of having “all the elements that made her such an iconic character.”
There are still the traditional elements to Lara’s character, such as the sharp mind and stubborn spirit that Tomb Raider fans could be expecting with this film, non-gamers can enjoy.
‘’It was big collaborative process all the way through and usually this doesn’t happen on these big studio films,” said Daniel Wu, who plays Lu Ren, Lara’s Asian sidekick. Lu Ren adds another layer to this modern adaptation.
“We were looking for this sidekick type of character, someone that she could bond with; obviously she meets him in Hong Kong, so he had to be Asian and we wanted him to be Asian,” said King.
In the film, Lara and Lu Ren sail in search of an island as they fill a common void resulting from the loss of their fathers.
“This gray area is when they meet in life. Lu was different since Lu never respected his dad. He kind of gave up on this idea of having a father and having a connection with his father, but people like that are always in denial,” said Wu.
Wu’s Lu Ren parallels Vikander’s energy in action scenes of combat with Vogel, a merciless but emotionally vulnerable character played by Walton Goggins. On the other hand, he portrays a deep yearning to fill the hollowness of paternal loss.
“When I picked it up I was like okay, is this going to be some type of stereotype, two-dimensional role? But I was impressed that Geneva Robertson, who wrote the script didn’t do that!” expressed Wu.
“I was happy it wasn’t this forced sexual tension between these characters. What they saw in each other was this commonality,” said Wu.
“He had some really good ideas on small details for his scenes and character to make it more realistic and true,” added Uthaug.
“You have to practice; you have to go to acting school, you need to go do the training and all that so you could be ready when the opportunity is given to you,” Wu said in encouragement for aspiring Asian actors.
According to Wu, Vikander kind of created an environment where everyone could take part and make their characters real.
“For example, Walton, how interesting his character [Vogel] is because he is kind of a villain, but you kind of feel for him –- he brought that to the character. And that’s what they also wanted me to do with Lu Ren,” Wu explained.
Uthaug and his cast gracefully weave the complex and emotional lives of Lara, Lu, Richard and Vogel to reveal how a young female turns into a Tomb Raider.
When asked if he would direct a sequel to this adaption, Uthaug said, “I had lots of fun directing this movie so who knows.”
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