Oscar winner Angelina Jolie will play cyber action-babe Lara Croft in Paramount Pictures' live action version of the blockbuster video game Tomb Raider that will start shooting this summer at the UK's Pinewood Studios.
Jolie, who recently won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Girl, Interrupted, beat out such reported contenders as Elizabeth Hurley and Catherine Zeta Jones to land the coveted role of a publishing magnate who becomes a female Indiana Jones as she travels to exotic locations and battles danger in her quest to uncover ancient artifacts
Simon West, the director behind both The General's Daughter and Con Air, will helm Tomb Raider from a screenplay by Patrick Massett and John Zinman. Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin and Colin Wilson are the producers, with Charles Cornwall, chief executive officer of the UK-based game developer Eidos that is responsible for the Tomb Raider phenomenon, serving as the executive producer.
Jolie, who is the daughter of actor Jon Voigt, apparently got the nod after the producers saw her in The Bone Collector. Her role in Girl, Interrupted earned Jolie a third Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Her first Globe Award was for TNT's George Wallace, her second for HBO's Gia. Her upcoming films include Gone in Sixty Seconds, with Nicolas Cage and Vinnie Jones, and Dancing In The Dark opposite Antonio Banderas.
Tomb Raider is one of the biggest selling series in video game history with sales of more than 21 million units to date. Even as an animated heroine, Lara Croft has become something of a global superstar, appearing on more than 200 magazine and newspaper covers around the globe. Time Digital included her on a list of the 50 cyber-elite in America, ranking her among Bill Gates, Andy Grove, Steve Jobs and George Lucas. In addition, says Eidos, her character has been used in television commercials across the US, Europe and Asia.