I can’t imagine that Core Design, the original creators of Tomb Raider could have foreseen that Lara Croft and her adventures would have become such a global phenomenon. Since 1996, there have been twenty games and three major Hollywood films based on our favourite energetic heroine. In my game library alone, I have every Tomb Raider game ever released up to and including mobile versions and I’ve watched each of the films several times. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of the series, but one wonders how much can be milked from such a cash cow.
As I mentioned in a previous article, Amazon will be publishing the next major game in the series (Shadow Of The Tomb Raider was released in September 2018) and the company has also confirmed that a new TV series is on its way, penned by none other than Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the star and writer of the TV series, Fleabag. As an aside, this announcement has caused an uproar in the gaming community as Ms. Waller-Bridge is seen as a woke feminist who ‘ruins everything she touches’. Her role in the latest Indiana Jones film and especially her influence over the James Bond film, No Time To Die, are frequently referenced as evidence of her woke intentions. I would have to watch No Time To Die another time in order to comment, but judging from her performance in Fleabag, which I had to abandon because it was so utterly trashy, I reserve comment for now. There is even talk of another Tomb Raider feature film being produced by Amazon, but we don’t yet know if Ms. Waller-Bridge will be involved in that; it’s possible because she has apparently been paid around $60M by Amazon for doing not very much at all.
In February this year, Tomb Raider Reloaded was released for mobile and I have no idea why, except maybe to milk more $$ out of the franchise. Since it’s free on Android and iPhone, I installed the game on my phone, played for less than five minutes, and promptly uninstalled it because it was so bad.
Back in 2007, a Tomb Raider anime was produced by GameTap and starred Minnie Driver as the voiceover of Lara Croft. GameTap later went bust and all the episodes were then made available on YouTube. This leads neatly into Netflix’s new Tomb Raider anime series due to be released this year and starring Hayley Atwell as the voice of Lara Croft along with the characters, Jonah and Zip making a return to the story. So we have a TV series, an anime series, and a possible feature film for the franchise when most fans would much rather see an actual AAA Tomb Raider game. But clearly, the bean counters would like to wring as much as they can from Lara. But then, that is the nature of the entertainment industry with franchises such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, et al, being thrashed to death for the sake of a few dollars more, but losing sight of the original vision.
We can only hope that the franchise doesn’t get utterly trashed and become a mockery of itself and that the next Tomb Raider will not be tainted by woke feminism where Lara the eco-warrior becomes a non-binary, Me-Too single mother, living in an eco-friendly squat in south east London. That would hardly be conducive to raiding tombs, would it?