After a nearly five-year break, Crystal Dynamics has a new Tomb Raider out in stores. The younger Lara Croft is a hit, at least with critics. Digital Trends delivered the game a sparkling 9.5 out of 10, and the web’s other critics agree with that assessment. With major mainstream momentum building behind the series for the first time in over a decade, Square-Enix is wasting no time in getting Lara back to her former media prominence. And now that the game series has been rebooted, next up is the Tomb Raider movie series.
Developer Crystal Dynamics is working directly alongside production company GK Films to bring Tomb Raider back to theaters. “It was important for both of us to have a cohesive version of the franchise,” studio head Darrell Gallagher told Variety on Tuesday. “We didn’t want to see a film version that was a continuation of the old Tomb Raider films.”
A wise decision. 2003’s Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, starring Angeline Jolie as the titular adventurer, was not considered a success, grossing $153 million worldwide on a production budget of $95 million, a figure that doesn’t include marketing and other costs. A film reboot following the template of the game, would star a younger Lara Croft, close to 21-years-old. That will allow the filmmakers to cast a much more affordable star than the high profile Jolie.
There is no writer or director on board at the moment, but the production company has a strong history with one of the hottest filmmakers around: Ben Affleck. GK Films has a decent track record from recent years, and it’s helped produce two of Affleck’s major success stories: The Town and this year’s Best Picture winner Argo. It’s also helped some wonderfully creative movies like Rango and Hugo get made. That said, it’s also backed some stinkers like Edge of Darkness.
While Crystal Dynamics will work with the filmmakers to guarantee the franchise is consistent across all mediums, Gallagher did say “we make the games, they make the film.”