‘Tomb Raider’ Reboot Discovers a New Director
Austin’s Fantastic Fest is always a great place to scout undiscovered talent. The festival brings in terrific genre movies from all over the world, often by little-known directors who then go on to make a huge impact in Hollywood. Case in point: This year, I really enjoyed a Norwegian disaster movie called The Wave, about a geologist who can’t convince anyone that his tiny town is about to face a deadly tsunami, and then has to race to rescue his family after they’re trapped in the watery chaos. From my review of the movie, at Fantastic Fest:
The Wave seems to have taken movies like San Andreas as a cautionary tale, not about earthquake preparedness, but about narrative economy in the face of big special effects. It takes what American disaster movies do right (impressive and intimidating visuals) and ditches what they mess up (cartoonish characters).
It was a very solid film, and one that convinced me its director, Roar Uthaug, was a talent to watch. Barely two months later, Uthaug’s already got his first English-language movie, and his first high-profile American gig: The Hollywood Reporter writes that he’s now attached to direct the long-in-development reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise.
THR says only that the new Tomb Raider, which follows two previous Lara Croft movies starring Angelina Jolie as the adventuring archaeologist, “will detail Croft’s first adventure” and that it comes from a script that’s been worked on by screenwriters Evan Daugherty, Marti Noxon and Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. The latest draft would be written by Transformers 5 co-writer Geneva Robertson-Dworet.
There’s no casting for Lara Croft yet, but Uthaug’s a really cool choice to make a Tomb Raider movie. The Wave didn’t do anything fancy or flashy with the disaster movie formula, but Uthaug did a very nice job of balancing characters and story with some very big special effects. It showed his keen understanding of what makes a blockbuster movie work and why, and that should serve him well on Tomb Raider. In the meantime, if you want to see The Wave for yourself, Magnolia is putting it out in theaters and on VOD on March 4.