So I’ve just started playing the reboot of Tomb Raider from 2013 on my Xbox One, and it got me thinking that the series is long overdue an film adaptation. There is no better time than now to revisit the game series for a film, especially with the new games providing an emotionally deeper experience than the originals. There is a demand for female driven films, and the film industry sorely needs the diversity. So as I’ve only played the first hour of the game I can’t do a full fan cast of all roles but I do want to look at who could play the lead role of Lara Croft in a new Tomb Raider film. Below are 6 actresses I feel would do a cracking job a Lara Croft.
The cultural impact of Lara Croft can not be underestimated, it is a character that broke down barriers for female protagonists in games and provided the platform for the industry to use them more often. Lara Croft is intelligent, strong and determined English archaeologist and can be just as progressive for the film industry as she was for the gaming industry. No pressure then.
Due to Lara Crofts nationality, and the potential to be the female film equivalent of James Bond, I’ve decided to narrow my choices down and choose from British actresses. I started off with American actresses as well (because of course they can play an English person too) but I was giving myself a headache whittling the list down.
Choice 1. Natalie Dormer
Natalie Dormer started off quite prominently on British TV starring in shows such as Silk, The Fades and The Tudors, in which she played Anne Boleyn. However what has really catapulted her onto the big stage is her role as Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones, the unfortunate wife of that little toe rag Joffrey Baratheon. Though there are plenty of blood, guts and nudity in GOT, really what carries it forward is the acting. The cast have to be at the scheming best to pull off some of the roles, and Dormer as Margaery Tyrell is one of them. Throw in the fact that she has an action filled role in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & 2 and you have two of the essential components for playing Lara Croft, good acting and ass kicking!
Choice 2. Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt may well be just a touch of class above doing a game to film adaptation, but if Michael Fassbender wants to do Assassins Creed then we’re allowed to dream about Blunt tackling the role. Quite simply if you look at the filmography of Blunt, then you needn’t question our choice here. In the past couple of years Blunt has played 3 strong, and determined characters, each in a different way. This year she played Kate Mercer in the brilliant Sicario, last year she was blasting aliens to pieces as Rita in great Edge of Tomorrow and in 2012 she played Sara, a young mother trying to raise her son alone, who might also have some powerful abilities, in Looper. Each of those characters possess qualities that would suit the role of Lara Croft to a tee, and we have no doubt Blunt could absolutely nail the part.
Choice 3. Hayley Atwell
If you wanted to choose an actress who could play the part, and immediately have the fans on your side then you could look no further than Hayley Atwell. After some supporting turns in films such as The Duchess and Brideshead Revisited, she got the part of Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger (in which Natalie Dormer also stars!) in 2011. People loved her character so much she got a Marvel One Shot to herself and a TV show, currently with 2 seasons, based on her character. Unfortunately with the exception of a couple of more supporting roles in Cinderella and Testament of Youth, she has been confined to the role of Peggy Carter. Atwell is too talented an actress to be only be known for her role in the Marvel universe and playing Lara Croft is a perfect way for her to break out even more.
Choice 4. Naomi Harris
Naomi Harris can be most recently seen playing Moneypenny in Spectre, and throughout her back catalogue of films has tackled a very nice variety of characters. Harris was ace playing Winnie Madikizela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and she was also great as the mysterious Tia Dalma in the second and third entries of The Pirates of the Caribbean series. Unfortunately we don’t think that the amount of films she has starred in is deep enough considering how good an actress she is. Though Moneypenny is a solid role in a massive franchise, it is also a restrictive role where she isn’t able to fully get her teeth into the action. Lara Croft would allow her to do that, and to be honest the only difference between Croft and Moneypenny is that Croft is in the heart of the action.
Choice 5. Andrea Riseborough
For some reason unknown to me Andrea Riseborough has seemingly not entered the consciousness of the general public yet. She had a minor breakout after starring as Angelica Fanshawe in the mini-series The Devil’s Whore and has had a steady stream of appearances since, with solid turns in Shadow Dancer, Welcome to the Punch, W.E, Oblivion and this years Best film at the Oscars, Birdman. But for some reason when ever I seem to mention her name, I’m usually responded to with “who?”. Riseborough is an excellent actress with a very bright future, who is deserving of a meaty lead role, and Lara Croft is a character that she definitely could embody whole heartedly.
For the future. Alicia Vikander
Alicia Vikander has absolutely sky rocketed to the forefront of the film industry and has had an absolutely stellar year for films. 2015 alone saw her feature in Ex Machina, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Burnt, and Testament of Youth as Vera Brittain. Now when making my choices I tried to keep them British, the same way James Bond would be cast due to the character being… well…British. However it is so hard to ignore the rise of this talented actress and the roles she has got to grips with so far, that I just I had to make an exception. I do think it would be a touch early for her to tackle Lara Croft, she could easily play the role now, but there are so many other actresses with a touch more experience that suit the part. Though give it a couple years and a few more films and Alicia Vikander would make an excellent choice for the role of Lara Croft. That is if Marvel haven’t snagged her for some other role by then.
So there you have it, 6 actresses who we would like to see take on the role of the intrepid archaeologist Lara Croft in a new adaptation of Tomb Raider. What do you think of our decisions? Good, bad or downright awful? Either way we’d like to know, but hopefully you don’t think their awful, I’d get a little sad otherwise! If you have a suggestion of your own let us know who you’d like to see tackle the role.