Saturday, April 30, 2016

EDITORIAL: My Thoughts On Alicia Vikander's Casting As Lara Croft In The Upcoming 'Tomb Raider' Reboot By Warner Bros.

Excuse me, while I collect myself through a quick Oscar Isaac Ex Machina dance.

Are we done? Are we? Okay. If you weren't already aware by your Twitter and Facebook feed, it was recently confirmed by MGM, GK Films and Warner Bros via The Hollywood Reporter that Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Ex Machina) is set to play Lara Croft in the new Tomb Raider reboot!

I know what you may be thinking, Daisy Ridley fanatics (trust me, I am among you), there was an article out there via Deadline speculating she was going to get the role, but speaking for myself I believe Vikander is brilliant casting! I mean, it's only fitting if you replace the last person to play Lara Croft who won Best Supporting Actress with someone who recently won Best Supporting Actress. It's essentially a rite of passage. You need gold to play a gold hunter, and when you can Out-Fassbender Michael Fassbender for “most Oscar worthy performances in one year” you seem to be doing something right. I absolutely adore Daisy Ridley from her antics off screen and her lovely performance in The Force Awakens, but for my money I would easily take the proven Oscar winning actress to handle a whole franchise. Not to mention Ridley also has the biggest franchise ever under her belt, playing a role a bit too similar. Regardless, WB certainly had their attention turned the right way on either choice. Proving you don't have to cast Emily Blunt or Charlize Theron in every empowered female role ever. I see you, fan-casters out there!

I love the recent trend these days that studios assess who is talented and pull off this role, rather than who can fill in seats. Certain studios still do this, but thankfully the era of the powerful star is starting to fade and audiences are now looking at the product and it's worth. “Will I get my money’s worth? Can I trust you to do this franchise well?” and that's an interesting period we're stepping into. As someone who never played the early installments of the Tomb Raider series, or seen the original Jolie adaptations, I'm happy they seem to be sticking with the recent video game reboot. One of the key aspects I appreciate with her latest portrayal is that she's essentially a British version of Uncharted’s Nathan Drake. A character who's also overdue for a (faithful) cinematic adaptation, both of which possibly being this generation’s response to Indiana Jones. It could have been so easy to Americanize the reboot with an Olivia Wilde, which still could have been lovely, but it's this little detail I and many other fans have come to admire. It just bloody fits, and from hearing the original voice of Camilla Luddington vs. what I've seen of Alicia Vikander, this is A Grade casting if I've seen it.
Roar Uthaug (the coolest name ever) who do The Wave is set to be directing with no set release date, with Vikander starring beside Michael Fassbender in this year’s fantastic looking The Light Between Oceans and that Matt Damon movie Jason Bourne.

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