A new era of digital storytelling is upon us, the kind where we can play Tomb Raider only with our eyes. Just look what happens when you write 'Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft' on the big white board of the internet, and let it sit there for a while. Fans of the intrepid archaeologist turned pop-cultural icon are so excited about one of gaming's most famous characters moving into digital streaming space that they're shouting the news to the universe. Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft will premiere 10 October 2023 on Netflix. The official announcement was accompanied by a trailer featuring the archaeologist Lara Croft in various moments of peril. As the narrator asks: 'Ms. Croft, how long can you keep going?' we all lean in to watch.


Netflix dropped the first details of the story in tandem with the game's trailer, providing a roadmap for a sure-to-be-titillating narrative after Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Lara Croft the legend has broken away from Lara Croft the grunt, with new solo adventures to embark on – until a theft at Croft Manor drags her back to the team, when a Chinese relic of great power is stolen by a thief with… personal significance to Croft. That's the cue to set off globally, through time and forgotten tombs, on a hunt that's as much about the Tomb Raider's own self-discovery as it is about being a good guy.


(So far, it is set to unify the two timelines between the original Core Design games and the reboot trilogy.) The brand new series that is the reimagining of the character deals with one of the most tall tasks I have ever seen in a franchise: Crystal Dynamics, the creative team behind The Legend of Lara Croft, want to unite all of her stories to create one unified legend. Lara Croft's past will be firmly planted and acknowledged for who she was in order to guide her into a future of what she can become. Pic © Crystal DynamicsFrom the video above: In production since 2021, the series is voiced by Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), and star Earl Baylon returns as Jonah Maiava to carry on the legend.


Tasha Huo, the series writer and producer, brings along many years of narrative experience from her work on The Witcher: Blood Origin. The project should hopefully ensure that Lara Croft's series is both narratively compelling and character-driven. The upcoming series has a 2023 release date on Netflix, although it will join a number of other excellent animated series on the same streaming platform.


And outside the realm of the animated series, the legend of Lara Croft is poised to continue growing with a new game currently in development and, most excitingly, a live-action TV series called 'The Legend of Lara Croft' starring Phoebe Waller-Bridges and streaming on Prime Video. Though the franchise went quiet for a while, with 'The Legend of Lara Croft' and other new offerings, the world's fascination with the character has been rekindled and, hopefully, will continue well into the future.


With October coming and the release of Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft close at hand, anticipation for the premiere release of the first instalment in the new series is winding up to a breathless crescendo. This is a tale of legacy and adventure, but more than that, it is the story of one woman's journey to find herself in the face of a world of global mystery and jeopardy. With a core plot and a lead capable of holding our attention through to the conclusion, the series promises to unite a fractured history into a single coherent narrative strand. So, strap in, grab your archaeological equipment and get ready to join me on the first episode of Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft.


At the centre of this legend resurgence is Lara Croft. One of the fabled few who successfully transcended a pixellated past to become a modern-day cultural icon, she is a legend that stretches across decades, a tale of ingenuity, persistence and the intrepid pursuit of adventure. Netflix's The Legend of Lara Croft is far from the first nostalgic elegy inspired by a once-popular video game, but the very fact that it exists at all is testament to the strength of this legend and the unwavering enthusiasm surrounding the character's return to the popular consciousness. Netflix is now offering viewers a saga that spans the past, present and future of Croft, inviting all to celebrate the classic legend's return for one more grand adventure: an adventure that is both as timeless as it is timely.

Legends don't die. They merely get reborn. New tales for the cinematic journey of the Tomb Raider prototype, Lara Croft, are set to premier with Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft (due on 16 October). While the reboot transports viewers from the pedigreed boardrooms of Britain's aristocracy to the hallowed halls of the Church's Vatican, the narrative axis remains the same: as a 'spitfire, adventurer and English-born archeologist', Lara Croft will inspire a new generation 'to take initiative, embrace life and follow their own instincts'.

Jun 02, 2024
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