Having played the Tomb Raider (2013) reboot game and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider, one thing I can say is that both embrace the supernatural. There's:

  • soul transfer playing an important role in Tomb Raider;
  • immortality and possibly undead soldiers in both Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

However, Tomb Raider (2018) the movie, ostensibly based on the 2013 game (in that both happen on Yamatai, involve Queen Himiko and feature a young Lara starting out on her adventures), seems to be firmly grounded in reality: everything that could be supernatural is given a scientific explanation. This seems to be a drastic divergence from both the base games, and the Angelina Jolie movies (both of which involved supernatural elements).

Is it known why the movie went in this direction? Have the powers that be behind the movie or the games talked about this?

To clarify, I'm not interested in superficially supernatural elements in the game (like magically lighting torches, switching weapons out of thin air, etc.), but the supernatural elements in the story of the game. Queen Himiko's soul transfer, the Prophet's immortality and the Divine Source, the Oni and the Deathless Ones - these are all parts of the story, and their supernatural features have little to do with gameplay.


1 Answer 1


Director Roar Uthaug said he wanted to make Lara Croft a more plausible character doing more realistic things so that the audience would better relate to her (your experience may vary), which included practical effects rather than CGI wherever possible.

From his interview with Screenrant1:

... I think that's a good way to get the audience engaged in a movie like this, to make them believe that this is actually happening, this is a real girl living in East London, has a real life there, and she is taking on this great big adventure, but it's throughout it you feel that there's a reality to it and she's . . .her experience of rings true and I think that’s something that was important....

I think it's like in any movie, you have to care about the characters, if you don't care about the people that this is all happening to, then you’ve lost. So, I think the most important thing was to make your audience root for Lara, believe that she's a real girl, and I think then you send her out on this big adventure, but then you have to . . . or at least I think we have to keep a kind of grounded approach to all of it so it doesn't feel camp or tongue in cheek and that it feels real and that it feels . . . when she stumbles and falls, she gets hurt and she just bruised but then she picks herself up, she keeps fighting.

From his interview with ActionFigureJunkies.com:

We wanted some reality here. We didn’t want her to be the effortless champion. She needs to be real. We see her as a bike messenger and doing simple jobs the way a normal person would. That was a key part of what we wanted to do with her. She couldn’t just be this unstoppable heroine. We had to feel for her and root for her, and that means she had to have this reality.

  • It is prob also worth putting this in the context that the fashion in recent years for reboots has been to move away from supernatural, outlandish and cartoon-like characters to place origin stories in real life context. For instance; Christopher Nolan Batman reboot. Jun 28, 2018 at 9:56

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