Six Things We Learned From Total Film’s ‘Tomb Raider’ Exclusive Preview

British film magazine Total Film recently published a seven-page exclusive feature on the upcoming Tomb Raider film, which includes a slew of new stills, behind-the-scenes photos, and on-set interviews with director Roar Uthaug and stars Alicia Vikander (Lara Croft), Dominic West (Lord Richard Croft), and Walton Goggins (Mathias Vogel).

Lara Croft will be making her triumphant return to the big screen after a fifteen-year absence and fans are eager to know what they can expect from this March 2018 release.

1) Croft Manor Will Be Playing a Significant Role in the Film

Although Croft Manor didn’t make an appearance in the 2013 reboot game, fans can rest assured that Croft Manor will play a fairly significant role in the upcoming film. In the article, Total Film reporter Jordan Farley recalls his visit to the Croft Manor set on May 11, 2017, where he saw Vikander’s Croft return to her ancestral home “for the first time in seven years”.

Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West) and young Lara Croft (Maisy De Freitas) share a moment together on the Croft Manor grounds
Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West) and young Lara Croft (Maisy De Freitas) share a moment together on the Croft Manor grounds. Image credit: IMDB.

Hatfield House served as the filming location for Croft Manor in the Angelina Jolie films but Lara’s home has a new address this time around: the picturesque Wilton House in Wiltshire. Wilton House has made numerous appearances on screen in recent years, including Netflix’s award-winning series The Crown and the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice.

2) Richard Croft Isn’t a Conventional Father or Academic

In the reboot game series, Richard Croft was depicted as an obsessive archaeologist who had been shunned by the academic community. Dominic West’s Lord Croft is an equally obsessive scholar but, unlike his video game counterpart, he also has a military background and “is one of those psycho dads who abandons their kids on the mountainside and says ‘Survive'”.

In other words, Richard Croft is the type of father who would push his daughter to her physical and intellectual limits at every turn, going as far as hiding the key to Croft Manor inside an elaborate puzzle box. While “daddy issues” have become synonymous with the franchise in recent years, many of us are eager to see how this particular father-daughter relationship plays out on the big screen this spring.

3) Young Lara Will Be Played By Two Different Actresses

Alicia Vikander won’t be the only actress playing the iconic heroine in the 2018 film.

Actresses Maisy De Freitas and Emily Carey will be appearing in the film’s flashback sequences as the seven-year-old and fourteen-year-old Laras respectively, giving fans a glimpse into Lara’s unconventional childhood.

4) The Film Will Not Be a Direct Adaptation of the 2013 Game

Although the film is loosely based on the 2013 game and has borrowed a few plot elements from its 2015 sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, the film will not be a direct adaptation of either game. Vikander’s Lara will still be seeking out the legendary island of Yamatai and, more specifically, Himiko’s tomb and Total Film has confirmed that the film will recreate at least one key action sequence from the game. That said, fans shouldn’t go into the cinema expecting a scene-for-scene recreation of the reboot game.

For starters, many of the secondary characters from the 2013 game seem to be absent from the film. It’s not yet known whether Lara’s friends Sam Nishimura or Jonah Maiava are in the film in any form and Lara’s old mentor, Conrad Roth, is nowhere to be seen. Not much is known about Daniel Wu’s character, Lu Ren, but we do know that he’s the captain of the “rickety boat” that transports Lara to Yamatai and that he will help our heroine track down her missing father. Could he be filling Roth’s shoes as Lara’s key confidant and ally?

Lu Ren (Daniel Wu) joins Lara on her quest to find Yamatai
Lu Ren (Daniel Wu) joins Lara on her quest to find Yamatai. Image credit: IMDB.

Lara’s motivation for seeking out Yamatai is another detail that has been changed for the film. In the game, Lara was invited to join Conrad Roth’s crew and serve as a research assistant to Dr. James Whitman, an egotistical archaeologist who hosted his own archaeology-themed reality TV series. Judging from Total Film’s coverage, Lara’s quest to find Yamatai stems from a desire to find her missing father and complete his work, which calls to mind Lara’s search for Kitezh in Rise of the Tomb Raider.

5) Walton Goggins’ Villain Is a Former Colleague of Richard Croft

One of the characters that has undergone some changes for the film is the game’s secondary antagonist, Mathias. In the game, Mathias was the leader of the Solarii Brotherhood, a violent cult that served the Sun Queen, Himiko. Desperate to leave the island he had been stranded on for over three decades, Mathias had no qualms about torturing or killing anyone that stood in his way.

Walton Goggins once described his character, Mathias Vogel, as “very complicated”, adding that “his motivations are pure” and that there were “real reasons behind his antagonism”. Unlike his videogame counterpart, Goggins’ Mathias is an academic and a former colleague of Richard Croft. We learn from the article that he has spent months attempting to excavate Himiko’s tomb, that he’s a man who is mentally and physically exhausted and, as Goggins put it, “a person who has run out of options”.

While his motives and history with Lord Croft remain shrouded in mystery, one thing is clear from Total Film’s interview with the actor: Vogel will be a force to be reckoned with.

6) Himiko’s Tomb Will Blow Your Mind

What would a Tomb Raider film be without some spectacular tombs for our heroine to explore?

During her interview with Total Film, Alicia Vikander sung the praises of production designer Gary Freeman’s set design and told them that Himiko’s tomb “might be the most beautiful set” she had ever seen.

Total Film's Tomb Raider cover

A bold claim, perhaps, but we’ll reserve judgement until we have seen the film. In any case, Gary Freeman has an impressive resumé, having worked on films such as National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Maleficent, and the 2001 blockbuster Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, so it’s clear that fans are in for a visual treat when Tomb Raider (2018) hits screens worldwide later this year.

Read the full article by ordering your copy of Total Film #267 (Winter 2018) at MyFavouriteMagazines.

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About Kelly M

Kelly McGuire is a writer, part-time translator, and gamer who is passionate about archaeology, language learning, travel, and wildlife conservation. She tweets under the username @TRHorizons and is the admin and chief content creator for Tomb Raider Horizons.

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