VANITY FAIR – Alicia Vikander had a major breakout year in 2015, playing both a mysterious (and eventually vengeful) robot in Ex Machina as well as a devoted wife and artist in The Danish Girl. It was the latter role that won her the Oscar and could have minted an entire career in thoughtful period dramas. Instead, for her follow-up, Vikander is going the action-heroine route, donning the iconic tank top and cargo pants of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
In these first-look images, see Vikander take on the role made famous first in the video-game series and then in the two films starring Angelina Jolie. But this version of Lara comes with a new backstory, and a new motivation for her adventures: seven years after the disappearance of her father, 21-year-old Lara has refused to take the reins of his global business empire, instead working as a bike courier in London while taking college classes. Eventually she becomes inspired to investigate her father’s disappearance and travels to his last-known location: a tomb on an island somewhere off the coast of Japan.
As the official plot description puts it, “Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.”
“When I was asked to take on this role I got really excited—Lara Croft is a truly iconic character,“ Vikander told Vanity Fair via e-mail. “I think people can identify with her for lots of different reasons, but for me I very much see her as a model for many young women. She’s trying to carve out her place in the world and connect her future with her past. She also has a fantastic mix of traits—tough, smart, vulnerable, plus she’s kick ass! She is also uniquely different to other characters I have taken on previously. It’s a lot of fun trying to get into Lara’s head and the challenge of getting to grips with such a physical role is an element of this project that I find an absolute thrill.”
Producer Graham King, who won an Oscar as producer of The Departed, adds: “Alicia Vikander brings tremendous depth and vulnerability to this character, which is every bit as important as Lara Croft’s fierce strength, determination, and physicality. Our film takes Lara from her early origins, to the physical and emotional challenges through which she ultimately becomes the Tomb Raider. It’s a complex character, requiring a range of elements and Alicia brings all of that together brilliantly in her portrayal.”
Tomb Raider, directed by Roar Uthaug and co-starring Dominic West, Walton Goggins, and Daniel Wu, comes to theaters on March 16, 2018.