Here’s Our First Look at Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft in Tomb Raider

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In the land of Hollywood, there are no new ideas, and everything old is reborn! In this case, Academy Award winner and Swedish android of my dreams Alicia Vikander is stepping into Angelina Jolie’s short shorts for a new Tomb Raider adventure. Actually, what’s refreshing here is a concerted lack of short shorts in the initial pictures.

The latest take on Tomb Raider, directed by Norwegian director Roar Ulthaug, and co-starring Dominic West a.k.a. Jimmy McNulty in The Wire, is pitched as Lara Croft’s origin story. While we here at The Mary Sue have declared ourselves pretty much Done With Origin Stories, at least this one doesn’t concern a self-centered rich white man attaining salvation through superpowers? (Although Lara is still a wealthy scion—sigh—she’s trying to get away from it.)

In an exclusive profile about the movie in Vanity Fair, we learn how this incarnation of Lara is situated:

…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.

Most of the Vanity Fair coverage reads like a packaged press release, with Vikander emailing in, “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!” and producer Graham King enthusing, “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.”

So we don’t learn all that much, but, you know what? Alicia Vikander is a great actress (pls watch Ex-Machina for proof), and I really do believe she’ll bring a lot to the role.


(image: Graham Bortholomew)

Here we see Vikander rocking a classic Croft look reminiscent of the 2014 video game reboot, with the signature tank top and cargo pants (and a bow and arrow). The pants! Angelina Jolie, another Academy Award winner and fine actress, previously played Lara well in two not-so-great movies, and I have to say I’m liking Vikander’s costume update.

No one would deny that Jolie looked fantastic as Lara, but so much of the marketing aimed to make her look as much like the gravity-defying video game character as possible. There was a lot of emphasis on the barely-there ensemble the character was known for in the older games.


How times have changed. (image: Paramount)

Female heroes should, of course, be allowed to wear whatever the hell they want (and kick all the ass while doing it). But I have to admit that my initial reaction to the Vikander shots was a sigh of relief. If and when she shows up rocking those shorts, I’d like to believe it’ll make sense for the climate of the tomb that she’s raiding. What do you think?

(via Vanity Fair, featured image: Graham Bortholomew)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.