Tomb Raider: Alex Bailey
EW Staff
June 07, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Current Status
In Season
97 minutes
Wide Release Date
Angelina Jolie, Rachel Appleton, Chris Barrie, Mark Collie, Daniel Craig, Iain Glen, Leslie Phillips, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Noah Taylor, Jon Voight
Simon West
Core Design Ltd., Lawrence Gordon Productions, Mutual Film Company, Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Michael Colleary, Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Massett, Mike Werb, Simon West, John Zinman
We gave it a C

”She’s a young woman who leads a very privileged life and does amazing things, but is completely out of her mind in a really wicked way,” says Jolie, describing her latest role. ”She’s probably the closest to my personality [of] any character I’ve ever played.” Except that the Oscar winning actress doesn’t sidestep to the left and draw a weapon when you press Control Delete Space Bar — but never mind.

Casting the ever-intriguing Jolie as adventurer Lara Croft in the big screen adaptation of the popular videogame has already set ”Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” apart from previous doomed attempts at transplanting cyberheroes onto film (see ”Super Mario Brothers,” ”Double Dragon,” and ”Wing Commander,” if you must). ”The studio gave us a list of everybody’s top five actresses — the usual names — but I couldn’t think of anybody but Angelina,” says West (”Con Air”). ”Just by casting her, we let the world know this movie has a different attitude.”

It’ll certainly have a different look, with the reportedly nearly $100 million production giving Croft a stylish new mien. ”Think of it as a Merchant-Ivory film with a motorcycle crashing through the set,” suggests production designer Kirk Petruccelli. Even Lara’s outfits have been updated — although they will remain as skintight as ever. ”It’s more Prada and modern and minimalist,” reports costume designer Lindy Hemming. ”And Angelina doesn’t like color, so there’s a lot of blacks and grays.”

As for the plot, it’s being kept under wraps (which means you can probably download the script from the Internet). Suffice it to say that it’ll involve a father – daughter reunion (Jolie’s dad, Voight, will play her on-screen pop), a trip to Cambodia’s Temple of Angkor Wat (one of the rare times the ancient Buddhist monument has been filmed by Westerners), and loads of special effects. ”Angelina does most of her own stunts,” says West. ”I just throw everything at her — her own driving, the acrobatic stuff, the boat stuff — and she loves it. The problem is reminding her that she’s not indestructible. She’s convinced she IS Lara Croft.” Now, if only she can convince the rest of us…

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