No matter how many times you've explored the ruins with the braided babe, or rewatched the Angelina Jolie films, you've never seen Lara Croft like this before. In a SELF magazine exclusive, brand new Tomb Raider photos of Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft show she's portraying a stronger, more substantial take on the character. And that isn't just because they finally suited her up with some sensible cargo pants. It's because this iteration of Tomb Raider, an origin story for the timeless explorer, is placing more focus on making Lara Croft into a strong heroine — literally and otherwise.
I mean, to begin with, Vikander has been working hard bulking up for the role. She's been working with famed trainer Magnus Lygdbäck, a collaboration which started with a metabolism-boosting nutrition plan seven months before filming even started. Likewise, Lygdbäck's video workouts "consisting of mostly weight lifting to build muscle and movement training to help build her into the Lara Croft character," according to SELF. So there is a definite emphasis on Lara being — in a real, physical way — powerful, and Vikander is doing everything she can to bring that to the big screen.
But though Lara's physical strength and prowess is a focal point, there's something else Vikander and director Roar Uthaug want to showcase, and that's Lara's humanity.
Uthaug spoke of this intriguing take on Croft to SELF. He explained,
"We see Lara as a young woman, smart and capable but largely unfocused, and follow her on a dangerous journey that will push her to her limits in every sense, and allow her to hone the skills she needs to ultimately become who she was meant to be. As Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander is brilliant. She brings great depth to a complex role that is both physically and emotionally demanding."
There's something deeply refreshing to hear considering that Croft is a character that's historically been oversexualized by the general public and simultaneously looked up to by young girls. It's a confusing dichotomy that's woven into her legacy (and has, with time, sort of gotten better). Given the opportunity to look past her babe-liness, and focus on just who is Lara Croft, is an important move for a new generation that should see her as more than a sexpot Indiana Jones. And it's a good direction to move the franchise forward.
Tomb Raider won't hit theaters until March 16, 2018, which is a bit of a way off. But I'm nonetheless thrilled to go adventuring with Lara and see what dimensions Vikander will bring to the iconic character.