Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander has officially been announced as Lara Croft for the Tomb Raider reboot, 13 years after Angelina Jolie portrayed the iconic video game character for the last time, in the less than stellar Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
The announcement comes weeks after the internet was rife with rumours that Daisy Ridley was all set to take on the character, in response to her universally praised performance in The Force Awakens. The stories were met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction, as fans of Tomb Raider and films alike (me included) heralded it as a piece of perfect casting. Even Daisy got herself involved in the action, stating that she would love to take on the challenges of playing Lara Croft in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, remarking “I’m waiting for someone to say ‘I want you, let’s do it’”. The stage was set.
But that’s not to say we should be disappointed with Alicia Vikander’s appointment, in fact, we should be thrilled. Vikander has proven her acting prowess on critically acclaimed films such as Anna Karenina, Ex Machina, Man from U.N.C.L.E as well as The Danish Girl. Eddie Redmayne stole all the headlines in his turn as the first known recipient of sex change surgery, but I personally believe that Vikander was the strongest performance of the film and won her first Academy Award for her sterling effort. She also fits perfectly into the role of a new and improved Lara Croft, less reliant on her sex appeal and more focused on her wits and determination.
With regards as to why Daisy Ridley was looked over for the job, Vikander boasts a substantially more robust acting resume and it makes sense that GK and MGM would prefer her experience over Ridley’s single motion picture credit, even if that sole credit was the lead in Star Wars. The studios may have also wanted an actress unattached to any major franchise, keen to cast an actress that will be perceived solely as Lara Croft, growing into the role and establishing it as a force to be reckoned with in cinema. Although it’s worth noting that, Harrison Ford managed to side step this problem, bringing two equally iconic characters to audiences without hurting either of them or his career.
There is no current release date for Tomb Raider but you can catch our brand new Lara Croft this Summer, in the latest entry in the Bourne series on July 29th, opposite Matt Damon. A fantastic step forward for a phenomenal actress.