New Line Brings Lara Croft Movie Back to Life

New Line Cinema has brought Lara Croft back to life. The studio, a division of Time Warner Inc., has signed British director Simon West to helm a new version of the big-screen version of the popular Tomb Raider videogame franchise, reports the Hollywood Reporter.

West, whose credits include Con Air and The General’s Daughter, will work on a script by Boaz Yakin (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) that was recently rewritten by Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Huntsman). The studio is also in talks with actress Megan Fox (Transformers) to star in the title role.

The film is expected to begin production early next year for release in late 2012 or early 2013. A representative for New Line declined to comment on the project.

The previous movies in the series, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, starred Angelina Jolie as the heroine and grossed about $432 million worldwide.

The studio behind the “Lord of the Rings” franchise has given a new lease on life to “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” picking up the movie rights to the video game franchise after Paramount Pictures put it into turnaround.

New Line Cinema is negotiating with “Catwoman” director Pitof to helm the project, which it plans to re-launch in summer 2005. The film will be produced by Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin, who first developed the series for Paramount with Eidos Interactive, creator of the original games.

New Line’s acquisition marks a return to the big screen by Lara Croft, a fictional British archaeologist and adventurer who was portrayed by Angelina Jolie in two Paramount-produced films.

New Line Cinema has finally revived its long-dead Lara Croft movie, which will be directed by “The Mummy” helmer Stephen Sommers and written by “American Pie” scribes Adam Herz and David H. Steinberg.

The film, of course, is based on the best-selling Eidos computer game series that features the buxom heroine in an Indiana Jones-like adventure. The movie was pulled from the studio’s production schedule three months before filming was to begin in Morocco with Angelina Jolie starring as Croft.

Sommers last directed the 1999 hit “Deep Rising.” The studio will announce a release date for the film later this week.

A few months ago it was hard to imagine a movie being made of the popular video game Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The film, based on the Eidos Interactive Inc./Eidos plc game, had been shut down at Paramount Pictures after its budget ballooned to $140 million and star Angelina Jolie demanded more money.

But the movie seems back on track now with New Line Cinema assuming the reins. The studio has agreed to pay a reported $90 million for the film’s rights and is negotiating with Jolie, who will play the title character, to lower her salary from $12.5 million to $8 million.

“It’s nice we’re back on track,” says Eidos Chief Executive Officer Mike McGarvey. “New Line is very enthusiastic about it.”

The film had been slated for a July release, but New Line wants to start shooting next month–which means that Eidos will have less time than planned to incorporate footage into its Tomb Raider follow-up game. Still, McGarvey expects the film’s success will boost sales of the company’s games.

A big-screen adventure for Lara Croft is back on course, with a new writer hired to pen the latest draft of the Tomb Raider sequel.

New Line Cinema has hired Evan Daugherty to write the script for the sequel to 2001’s Tomb Raider, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The previous draft was written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman.

As with the first movie, based on the Eidos Interactive video game, Oscar winner Angelina Jolie will reprise her role as the female Indiana Jones-style archaeologist Lara Croft.

Daugherty wrote Snow White and the Huntsman, which Universal is developing as a starring vehicle for Kristen Stewart.

New Line Cinema has been vigorously pursuing the rights to make a feature film based on the popular video game character Lara Croft, and now they have their chance. The studio has landed the rights to bring the character of Lara Croft to the big screen, with actress Angelina Jolie in place to portray her.

Another Tomb Raider movie would seem like a bit of a risk for New Line, considering Paramount’s 2001 adaptation starring Angelina Jolie was not much of a hit with critics or audiences. However, considering Jolie is as hot as she ever was, and that the studio is also trying to get a Halo movie off the ground, this could be their way of shoring up some credibility with gamers.

The first Tomb Raider film grossed $274 million worldwide, but cost $115 million to produce. A sequel was planned for a 2003 release, but Paramount kicked it back into development due to script problems.

New Line Cinema, the company that was responsible for bringing the Lord of the Rings trilogy to the big screen, has decided to revive the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider film franchise. The first two films starred Angelina Jolie and grossed over $430 million worldwide but weren’t nearly as well-received by critics.

The new installment is going to be based on a script written by Evan Daughtery, who wrote Snitch and Safe House. This is a significant change from the first two films, which were based on the popular video game series. It’s uncertain if Jolie will be returning to play Lara Croft or if New Line will re-cast the character.

New Line Cinema hasn’t announced any further details about the project yet, but it’s likely that an official announcement will be made soon now that it has been confirmed that it’s moving forward.

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