Roar Uthaug — the director of the new live-action Tomb Raider reboot — made a concerted effort to make the new film look a lot like the Tomb Raider game, but not the original one. Everything about Alicia Vikander’s clothing and weapons is modeled on the 2013 version of Lara Croft’s adventure, not the 1996 original Tomb Raider that started it all.
Rather than depict the Tomb Raider at her peak, both the 2013 game and new movie show Lara Croft’s original transformation during a survivalist adventure. If the more than 8.5 million copies of 2013’s Tomb Raider are any indication, this is a good way to tell the story of this beloved character.
“When casting this movie we wanted to stay pretty close to the 2013 game,” Uthaug says. He also mentions how Alicia Vikanker embodies both sides of this more complex Lara Croft: “she really pushes herself above and beyond” to portray how an “everyday girl” becomes the Tomb Raider.
Vikander’s outfit in the movie looks identical to the 2013 game; there’s even a bandage on her right arm in the same location. Her weapons also transfer from game to film: “Surviving on a desolate island like this,” Uthaug said, “it felt like the bow and arrow was the natural weapon for Lara, and it also plays such a huge part in the game.”
Specific sequences and plot elements also transfer over. Uthaug “drew a lot of inspiration from the game for certain set pieces.” Fans might recognize the shipwreck of the Endurance that leaves Lara stranded. There’s also a “river bomber parachute sequence” and the inclusion of mysterious organization called “Trinity.”
“At the same time,” Uthaug also said, “we wanted to do something new — to not just repeat what we’ve seen in the game, but to take our own spin on it and make it exciting to watch on the big screen.” At this early stage, it’s hard to know if the upcoming action movie, due out next spring, will deliver a novel experience. But considering the game’s success, maybe something closer to a direct adaptation could achieve similar success.
Tomb Raider is scheduled for release on March 16, 2018.