The last time someone tried to put Lara Croft: Tomb Raider on the big screen, it was Jan de Bont, the director of Speed and Twister, with the sequel The Cradle of Life. That was a follow-up to 2001’s original Tomb Raider film that was made by Con Air director Simon West. What do those two guys have in common? Well, aside from both being relatively successful action film directors, they’re also both men. Sadly, most of the working directors in Hollywood are still men, which is why gender equality in cinema is taking a leap forward with the news that the producers behind the Tomb Raider reboot are looking for a female director to make a movie about a female hero.
The rumor is being floated by the Tracking Board website, who says that the producing bodies Warner Bros, MGM and GK Films, are looking for a “Michelle MacLaren type” of director to remake Tomb Raider, and that’s why Kathryn Bigelow, Catherine Hardwicke, and Mimi Leder are on the short list. Why a “Michelle MacLaren type” then? Who knows?
Okay, let’s parse the candidates. And incidentally, if you’re looking for three female directors, these three are probably the creme of the crop. Bigelow, the first and so-far only woman to win a Best Directing Oscar, is probably the number one pick, but is the woman behind The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, not to mention Strange Days, Point Break, and Near Dark, going to be interested in studio franchise filmaking?
Hardwicke, best known for directing the first Twilight as well as Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown, also seems like directing Tomb Raider would be a bit outside her wheel house. That’s not to say that she might not be up to the challenge, she could be, but taking on an Indiana Jones-style big budget adventure film doesn’t seem like her cup of tea.
And that leaves Leder, who has made Hollywood fare before with Deep Impact, The Peacemaker and Pay It Forward, but she’s spent the last several years focusing on TV work including Shameless and The Leftovers, so maybe that fills the “Michelle MacLaren type” that producers are looking at. Again, who knows?
Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Divergent) is currently writing the script. If they’re this close to naming a director than casting may be not far behind. No rush though, Tomb Raider still only has a soft release date for sometime in 2017. We’ll have more news about this project as it comes in.