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They’re rebooting Tomb Raider. They’re rebooting Tomb Raider. Am I the only person who sees this as a sign of some upcoming cultural apocalypse? Is Hollywood really that devoid of new ideas?
For me, rebooting Tomb Raider as a movie franchise is even more inexplicable than Sony deciding to reboot Spider-Man, or the Joss Whedon-less Buffy movie. After all, both of those franchises were successes, and there was potentially money left on the table from their absences from the imaginations of the mass populace. But… Tomb Raider? Really? How did that happen?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the idea of Tomb Raider in general — “It’s Indiana Jones turned up to 11, but the lead is a woman” is a fine high concept to hang your hat on, even if the execution remains curiously linked with the 1990s by dint of its popularity at the time — but I doubt that there’s anyone who could argue that either of the original movies (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life) were the kind of blockbuster successes that make recreating such a recent project (Cradle of Life is less than 10 years old!) a necessity.
Perhaps it’s just the same rush of nostalgia, optimism and faith in the strength of recognized brands that has also brought us Tron: Legacy and news of potential Blade Runner prequels and sequels. It’s a laziness to claim that Hollywood doesn’t understand the value of new ideas, because — hey! Look at all of the non-sequels and remakes that the movie industry is still producing, even if they’re not massively original in and of themselves, but at the same time, there’s definitely an overly romanticized belief amongst decision makers that name recognition is enough reason for people to pay attention to a movie, to make it a success, even though countless counterarguments have been presented.
I have no idea if the new Tomb Raider will be good, and if I’m honest, that almost seems beside the point; it’ll be another Tron: Legacy, trading on its history before it’s released, and exhausting all the goodwill before anyone has ever seen it. I just wish that Hollywood would be a little more selective in what it chooses to resurrect, or at least wait until we’d all forgotten how mediocre it was the first time around.