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June 05 2009

Vote on who you want to see play the next Lara Croft. The Coventry Telegraph is hosting a poll on which candidate, suggested by its online readers, fans would most like to see as the new, character-driven Lara Croft. Summer Glau is included.

The Coventry Telegraph is hosting a poll on which candidate, suggested by its online readers, fans would most like to see as the new, character-driven Lara Croft. Summer Glau is included. Poll is in the center-right column next to the lead photo.

For the record, she was in 2nd place with as much as 21% before my post (Erica Durance was at 22%).

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-06-05 04:30 ]
I just voted, and she's winning handily w/ 32%. Durance in second with 17%. Go Summer!

The funny thing is that my interest in more Croft movies is in the negative degrees -- not even Jolie in the role could rouse my interest much. But I admit, I would totally go see Summer's interpretation of Croft. There's something about her, even when she was playing non-human Cameron, that's delicately vulnerable. She would make an interesting Croft.
Alison Carroll deserves it, watch some vids of her in action. And she looks like Laura Croft.
I really don't think that Summer should play Lara croft... she doesn't fit the role at all, plus Lara croft movies are always bad
I was always so disappointed with how the Lara Croft movies turned out. They weren't awful per se (relative to other video game adaptations anyway), but there was so much potential there. The video game storyline was so weak and disjointed after x sequels that there was pretty much free reign over what the plot of the film would be, and it would be a perfect opportunity to create a good, strong leading woman in an action film. Instead it turned into padded bleh with mystical bleh and guns.

(In other words, I'd love to see what Summer could do with the role, and perhaps produce a somewhat interesting film.)
I think that the original Tomb Raider movies (due in no small part to the inspired casting of Angelina Jolie) were absolutely perfect for what they were: live-action renditions of a popular computer game franchise. They weren't really "movies" in that the plot and characters were seemingly lifted wholesale from the games and just plopped into a movie environment without a care for the need of adapting them to the different medium first.

I really think that if you go and look at the core concepts and back-story of the Lara Croft character herself all the pieces exist there for the basis of an excellent screenplay and even a wildly successful movie franchise to follow. This is why I'm finding myself an increasing fan of the idea of a re-boot of this property specifically, despite my general disdain for the current re-booting fad. Lara Croft the person, as opposed to the computer game character, has yet to have been portrayed on the silver screen.

As far as casting goes, obviously Angelina Jolie is ruled out as a matter of course, although - I might add - not because of anything as simple as age. Angelina's Lara Croft was essentially a doppelganger of the video game character; I think it's pretty obvious why she was asked to portray the part and why she has apparently lost interest in any continued involvement with the franchise. Sure playing a live-action computer game character is great fun the first couple of times, but soon any serious actor is going to get bored with portraying such a paper-thin type of role and want to do something else. By introducing a new actor to the role the character itself can be re-cast as something other than what it was the first time round.

Now. It just so happens that many of the key elements that are intrinsic to the Lara Croft character (youth, beauty, obsessive physical fitness) are not that common among members of the acting community, and if you cross-reference that list with two additional requirements (acting ability, casting availability), I really can't think of any other hypothetical candidates who could approach the level of potential Summer Glau could have in this role. Further, Summer has a very rare advantage among her peers in that she is virtually invulnerable to the type of sexual objectification and stereotyping that is bound to plague any actress going in to this project. I think it is pretty obvious to anyone who has actually bothered to watch her perform that it is primarily her pure acting talent, rather than her other considerable assets, that makes her characters so compelling to watch.

That went a bit longer than expected. I hope it still makes sense to me in the morning. :)

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-06-05 08:12 ]
Oh dear. Summer Glau just isn't suited to that role. Personally I'd like to see a British actress take the part of a character who's actually meant to be British.

Doesn't Keeley Hawes voice the character in the games now? That would make for some nice cross-media continuity...
Lesley-Anne Down. And she's already played the role.

Well, not exactly. In 1981, the film Sphinx was released in which she plays Egyptologist Erica Baron and is involved in various intrigues. It wasn't a great movie and was eclipsed by the much more succesful Raiders of the Lost Ark which came out 3 months later.

I like to think if someone had just had the savvy to make her character more the adventurer and less the screamer we could have had the makings of a decent franchise. It was only a couple of years previously we'd had Ripley in Alien, but the notion of a strong female lead was obviously still off the radar of most filmmakers.
I don't think she should play Lara Croft. At this time in her career I think Summer deserves something larger. Something that will let her stretch her acting chops. Something without a fight scene perhaps.
Alison Carroll. Just because.
Megan Fox definitely
Anyone but Summer. Really don't care much who, but I'd rather see Summer get good, character-driven work even if it paid less and gave her more critical than popular exposure.
Anyone but Summer. Really don't care much who, but I'd rather see Summer get good, character-driven work even if it paid less and gave her more critical than popular exposure.


See, I am really getting the impression, at this point at least, that the powers that be want to do just that: turn this franchise into a critical success rather than go the popular cheese route done previously. For that matter, the whole project strikes me as one of a very few which could achieve popular and critical success if done well.

But if the same powers that be start getting cold feet about the whole "new, character-driven, blah blah blah..." shift I wouldn't want Summer, or any other actress I like, to be anywhere near it.
At this time in her career I think Summer deserves something larger.


Yes, I'm sure Oscar winner Angelina Jolie was thinking the same thing when she did Tomb Raider the year after ...
Guys, I know we all love Summer, but she is so not a Lara Croft. It kind of freaks me out to see her leading the poll, because, at least in my opinion, if you just stop and think about it for a second, she doesn't look or feel the part. She's a great actor, and I enjoy pretty much everything she's in, but this just isn't right.

I voted for Erica Durance, by the way. I've watched her on Smallville and think she'd make a much better Lara Croft than Summer. No offense meant to Summer, of course, I just don't feel this is the role for her.
nathanieletc, I totally agree with you: Summer Glau does not fit the established mold, iconized by Angelina Jolie, for the portrayal of Lara Croft. If this were just a prequel to the Jolie movies we were talking about I doubt anyone here would have the slightest interest in seeing Ms. Glau portray the part. But it has been stated by one of the project's producers that they are interested in re-envisioning the character from the ground up.

The thing is, many people found the Jolie portrayal of Lara Croft - while undeniably entertaining on a superficial level - to be severely lacking in the character department. I think if you go back and read the various origin stories that exist for the character herself, there is a surprising amount of material there that could be used to create a really interesting, compelling film character. It just so happens that Summer Glau is a currently un-attached, up-and-coming young actress with an unusual level of physicality who is really good at portraying interesting, compelling characters. Hence the connection in so many fans' minds.

I think I am going to have to start referring to this hypothetical new Lara Croft character as the Lara Croft cool enough to wear normal clothing, or something to that effect, to help differentiate things in peoples' minds. I mean, can you imagine the potential for Whedon-esque screwing with gender-related tropes and stereotypes inherent in video game based action movies if you were to take such an iconic piece of eye candy as Lara Croft and turn her into an interesting, three-dimensional character portrayed by someone with such a strong sense of self-worth and demurity as Summer Glau? Just considering it makes me want to chuckle with mirth!
Felicia Day?

(Sorry, Twitter antics bleeding over... won't happen again... maybe.)

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