Lara Croft Alert! 5 Butt-Kicking Babes to Replace Angelina Jolie in ‘Tomb Raider’ Reboot

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

Lara Croft is ready to lace up the leather and start another treasure hunt now that the long-awaited "Tomb Raider" reboot is on.

On Wednesday, MGM and GK Films confirmed that they're joining forces to for a third cinematic version of the iconic heroine, just weeks after the latest "Tomb Raider" was released to boffo sales. But while the project is a go, no one involved is sharing any details about the plot … or the star.

The sexy, smart, and fearless British archeologist has always been the big draw for "Tomb Raider" a hit both at theaters and on your gaming console, and the role catapulted Angelina Jolie to the A-list when she starred in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" in 2001. Producers appear ready to find a new leading lady for the coveted gig, and we have a few suggestions for them.


Let's face it, most guys love Lara Croft because she looks great and can kick butt, and Jaimie Alexander has these bases covered. Alexander has the sort of smoldering dark-eyed sexiness that covers the first part of the formula, but don't think she can't take care of herself. Alexander was on her high school's wrestling team, meaning she can probably win a fair fight in real life, and she's certainly applied these skills to her screen work, taking no mess in "Thor," "The Last Stand," and the upcoming "Intersections" and "Thor: The Dark World." Do YOU want to be the one to tell her she doesn't get the part?


If MGM wants a new Lara Croft, Camilla Luddington has a lot going for her, especially since she already IS the new Lara Croft - she voices the character in the recent video game reboot. Luddington has already sorted out how to sound like Croft (once again, being British helps), and it doesn't hurt that she's an attractive brunette who can turn heads on the Red Carpet. And Luddington is also a versatile actress who has played recurring roles on "True Blood," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Californication," as well as portraying everyone's favorite posh British gal, Kate Middleton, in a TV movie about the Royal Couple.


If you want to take the position that "Tomb Raider" is just an Indiana Jones lift, with a sexy gal with fancy weapons taking the place of the other archeologist with a cool outfit, then Olivia Wilde certainly has a leg up on the competition. Wilde starred in "Cowboys and Aliens" with Harrison Ford, so if she ever wonders "How would Indiana Jones handle this situation?" she can probably get Ford on the phone and get an answer straight from the source. Just as important, lovely Wilde looks the part as much as any actress you can name, and she's shown she can handle the rough-and-tumble stuff in "In Time," "Deadfall" and "Tron: Legacy."


Hayley Atwell is a talented actress who has shown she can play sophisticated in "Brideshead Revisited" and "The Duchess," tackle gritty action stuff in "The Sweeney," and handle big-budget blockbusters in "Captain America: The First Avenger." Atwell's dark-haired beauty fits Lara Croft very well indeed. And while it's sometimes fun to hear an American actress struggle with a British accent (we can't all be Meryl Streep), Atwell's ace in the hole is she was born in London and needs no coaching to sound like she holds an archeology degree from a leading university in the UK.


Lara Croft is a tough gal and nobody's fool, but she also displays a definite upper-class bearing and sense of cool, and if Emily Blunt may not seem like an immediate choice for action heroine status, she can serve this side of Croft's personality with ease (hey, she played Queen Victoria - 'nuff said). Like Atwell, she can also handle the accent, and if the filmmakers want to play up Lara's understated wit, her roles in "The Five Year Engagement" and "The Devil Wears Prada" puts her right in their wheelhouse. Blunt is also pretty enough for the role, and having appeared in "Looper" and "The Adjustment Bureau," she does know a few things about action movies.


No one is betting on Angelia Jolie to return to the role of Lara Croft, but should she be entirely ruled out? Granted, it's been a decade since Jolie has played Croft, and at forty she might be considered a bit mature for the character. But her roles in "Wanted" and "Salt" show she's still in demand for action pictures (a sequel to the latter has been announced), and no one has taken her off the list of Hollywood's sexiest women. Jolie has a history with the role, and if Harrison Ford could try Indiana Jones again at 66 and pull it off, Jolie taking on Croft doesn't seem silly at all. Though given her busy schedule, her humanitarian work, and her growing interest in directing, the question is as much if Jolie wants to give Lara Croft another go as if the producers want her for the project.