Amazon’s Tomb Raider Reboot Must Adapt The CLASSIC Games – Trending News

Amazon’s Tomb Raider Reboot Must Adapt The CLASSIC Games

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As Lara Croft prepares for her next live-action adventure, Amazon’s upcoming Tomb Raider reboot should excavate the original, classic videogames for story material. First appearing as a PlayStation hero in 1996, Lara Croft rapidly became a pop culture icon. Not only has her digital career raiding increasingly better-looking tombs continued, but Lara has transitioned to the big screen also, with Angelina Jolie and Alicia Vikander both portraying the intrepid explorer extraordinaire. Despite mixed fortunes in both realms, the Tomb Raider IP remains as attractive as a well-placed medipack after missing a particularly lofty jump between ledges.

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With Phoebe Waller-Bridge writing and executive producing, Amazon is now making a live-action Tomb Raider TV show alongside a new movie. The project remains in the early stages of development, and a new Lara Croft has not yet been cast, but Tomb Raider is finally taking a running jump into the world of streaming. Amazon’s Tomb Raider reboot could forge its own path and tell an original story, or may copy the 2018 movie reboot by pulling from videogame releases from 2013 onward. A better option, however, would be looking toward the past for inspiration.

Related: Tomb Raider Makes One Irreversible Change to Lara Croft’s Story


Why Amazon Should Adapt Tomb Raider’s Classic Games

Despite multiple attempts across several decades, Tomb Raider has never thrived as a Hollywood franchise, with Angelina Jolie’s movies struggling for critical love and an Alicia Vikander Tomb Raider sequel locked in the freezer with Lara’s butler. The obvious solution is returning to the stories and themes that made gamers fall in love with Tomb Raider in the first place, which means 1996’s Tomb Raider and 1997’s Tomb Raider II. The graphics may look like they’re processed by a potato, but Lara Croft’s early escapades are the foundation of her enduring popularity. Without them, Amazon would not be throwing big bucks at a Tomb Raider shared universe in 2023.

Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider II both offer two exciting storyline premises, but leave enough space for Phoebe Waller-Bridge to punch up the script with her own deviations and additions. Tomb Raider pits Lara against Jacqueline Natla – an evil Atlantean ruler masquerading as a businesswoman – as they both seek the Scion. This story works as the foundation of an intriguing Tomb Raider season 1, but the Amazon Prime Video TV series can include its own embellishments to the game’s bare-bones plot, perhaps introducing personal history between Lara and Natla to spice up their feud.

Tomb Raider II‘s story is even better suited for live-action, sending Lara on a globe-trotting race against the pesky Marco Bartoli to acquire the Dagger of Xian, adding both urban and organized crime elements to Lara’s world. Once again, the characters and basic premise of Tomb Raider II are ripe for adaptation after being ignored by previous adaptations. Not only do these stories tickle the lucrative chin of nostalgia, but Amazon adapting Tomb Raider‘s early games would ensure authenticity to the source material shines through.

Live-Action Tomb Raider Hasn’t Worked Before

The Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider movies were, broadly, a box office success, but neither Lara Croft: Tomb Raider nor The Cradle of Life successfully captured the character’s cinematic potential. Though Jolie herself gave a fair Lara performance, her tenure raiding tombs contributed generously to the miserable reputation of videogame-to-movie adaptations. Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider fared better in 2018, but only relative to what came before, which was not a high bar to clear. Amazon will be hoping its Tomb Raider universe can eclipse both, so drawing from the original PlayStation games that form the core of Lara’s success appears the obvious way to reverse her live-action fortunes.

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Interestingly, Vikander’s 2018 Tomb Raider movie enjoyed the most positive reception of all three outings, and was the only one to adapt material from the videogames directly, with Jolie’s two efforts bearing almost no correlation with the adventures of her pixilated counterpart. That immediately suggests following proven storylines of successful games yields better results than concocting completely original material. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is unlikely to traipse back over the 2013 game series for ideas, but with the original 1990s classics still untouched, she does not need to.

Classic Tomb Raider Influence Can Keep Amazon’s Reboot Fun

Following modern trends, Amazon’s Tomb Raider universe may find itself tempted to take a grittier, more grounded stance that focuses squarely on Lara’s archeological exploits and human foes, avoiding the outlandish and hokier elements of her mythology. This developmental spike-pit ignores how those outlandish, hokey elements are key ingredients in the popularity and history of Lara Croft. Atlantean mutants and giant, fire-breathing dragons separated Lara from the PlayStation protagonist pack in the 1990s, and should remain a feature of her upcoming Amazon reboot.

By honoring the wilder elements of the original Tomb Raider games, Amazon can prevent its reinterpretation of the Tomb Raider franchise taking itself too seriously. Tomb-based drama and gritty heroism is fine, but the presence of mystical Chinese temples with floating guardians and the odd stray velociraptor can help balance the tonal books. Looking toward Lara Croft’s videogame history can stop Amazon’s Tomb Raider sliding down a steep slope of seriousness.

More: Tomb Raider’s New Reboot Wastes Its Best Lara Croft Future

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