The Tomb Raider reboot will offer fans a grittier, more grounded look at Lara Croft, with Alicia Vikander taking on the role in a film that will focus on the origins of the character.
Speaking exclusively to loaded to mark the release of disaster epic The Wave, director Roar Uthaug and the film’s star, Ane Dahl Torp, offered a glimpse of what to expect from the hotly-anticipated return of the iconic gaming character.
Chosen to helm the Lara Croft project as a direct result of his work on The Wave as well as previous efforts Escape and Cold Prey, Uthaug enjoys nothing more than subverting genre conventions while adding a layer of realism through character development.
“I want viewers to care about the characters, I think it’s important to ground them in reality and build a back story before the mayhem begins,” Uthaug explains.
“It is the same with Lara Croft and Tomb Raider. It will be an origins story where you really explore the character’s motivations, that way the audience cares more.”
This focus on character development and the grounding of the drama in reality is something Torp, whose previous credits include Dead Snow, concurs with.
“He had genuine feelings for the characters in The Wave and a clear picture in his mind of what he wants the film to be.”
Though Roar remains tight-lipped on plot and casting details (he apologises “I hope you understand”) there’s a strong indication that the film will adopt The Wave’s approach when it comes to special effects, namely that practical effects will be favoured over CGI.
“Everything we did in the film was real, except for the wave itself,” Torp explains.
“That’s what surprised me when making it, because I always thought they would use all the film tricks and editing.”
“Films like Twister and Armageddon were a big inspiration for me when making The Wave,” Uthaug says. “I wanted to take all the familiar disaster tropes of those films, which I love, but add some heart and realism.”
And though he’s eager not to give away too much, the filmmaker admits a similar approach is likely for Tomb Raider.
“Roar will bring a genuine love for the characters to this film and is someone who understands the craft of making these kinds of movies.”
“I want to explore the character of Lara Croft and take things back to basics,” he explains.
“I suppose you could compare it with the Bourne movies but this will be a bit different. Wherever possible though, we will look to do stunts practically rather than by using computers.”
Keen to avoid the pitfalls facing any big-screen adaptation of a computer game, Uthaug appears confident of crafting a Tomb Raider film with a Lara Croft fans care about, rather than the dream-like pin-up of the Angelina Jolie films – and he’s not the only one.
“They have made a clever and wise choice,” Dahl Torp adds, “he’ll bring a genuine love for the characters to this film and is someone who understands the craft of making these kinds of movies.”
The Wave is available to buy and rent on Blu-Ray, DVD and on demand now.
Fans will have to wait a little longer for Tomb Raider though with a release date set for some time in 2018.