Speaking to Empire’s Chris Hewitt at the Jameson Empire Awards – where she took home a gong, for Best Female Newcomer – the 23-year-old star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens acknowledged that “there have been conversations”.
The actress was first linked to the role earlier this month, but had not commented on the reports until now. Choosing her words carefully (“I was not told how to answer this question!”), Ridley said she had been having several meetings about the role, “but meetings don’t mean you’re going to do the film”.
She did, however, recognise the swell of fan support for the casting idea – ”everyone seems to be very excited about the idea” – but clarified that the project was still in its very early stages. “I don’t even think there’s a script yet.”
The Tomb Raider series debuted in 1996 and became the signature game for the then-fledgling PlayStation console. Two films based on the series have already been produced, with Angelina Jolie in the title role: 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and its 2003 sequel The Cradle Of Life.
Casting a younger actress to play the adventurer would chime with the 2013 reboot of the game, which went for an younger origin story and transformed Lara Croft’s cartoonish features and comically conical chest into something more realistic.
Whether or not Ridley ends up as the grave-digging archeologist, she has plenty to keep her busy - filming is currently underway on Star Wars: Episode VIII, due for release in December. And Episode IX will keep her occupied shortly after that – it’s due for release in 2019.
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