Development on the long-mooted third Tomb Raider movie has been slow and tortuous, but with a new instalment in the videogame franchise currently garnering plenty of attention, the subject of a new film has naturally started coming up again. Unusually for such a project, it seems that game developers Crystal Dynamics will be keeping a close eye on any potential new screen adventures for the adventurous Ms Lara Croft.
"It was important for both us and [developing production company] GK Studios to have a cohesive version of the franchise," says Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher. "It's a good partnership. We're seeing the challenges through the same lens. We didn't want to see a continuation of the old films, [so] they are working from this new take we've given them." Ultimately though, "We make the games, they make the film," he admits.
That "new take" involves a younger Lara: the new game sees her "fresh from the academy", honing her nascent fighting, puzzling and surviving skills following a shipwreck off the coast of Japan. Back at the end of 2011, producer Graham King was talking up the same reboot angle, saying that although the Angelina Jolie films (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of
Filth Life) "weren't disasters, the story that we're telling is really the story before she became Lara Croft, so it is a character piece, which I find interesting. But it's still a lot of action and a lot of fun."
In those days, the screenplay was being hammered out by Iron Man writers Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus, but a lot may have changed since then. The new Tomb Raider clearly won't be making its originally mooted 2013 release date, but it's not been buried alive either. It still looks likely that it will emerge blinking into the light at some point in the not-too-distant future.