Alicia Vikander says the character "reflects the times we are now."
When it was first announced that another film adaptation of the series would be hitting the big screen, the big question was "Why?" Angelina Jolie had already brought the character to life in two films; "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" in 2001, and its sequel, "The Cradle of Life," in 2003. In fact, even star Alicia Vikander -- who takes over the role for the 2018 movie -- had the same reaction when she was first approached for the film.
"I think mostly I was like, well it's been done," she told press on Friday. "And its not until they told me it was referring to the 2013 rebooted game ... I haven't played that much video games for the past 15, but I read about it online, I did my research and realized this is actually a very, very different take on the character's story."
The 2013 game -- also simply titled, "Tomb Raider" -- told Croft's origin story, showing how she evolved into the death-defying treasure hunter audiences always loved. The character's sometimes ridiculous proportions were also scaled down for the reboot, which had a more realistic, gritty and grounded take on her adventures.
"I've seen the films and I think Angelina Jolie made her into an icon and it's still one of the first times we got to see a female action hero on screen," Vikander continued. "I was at Crystal Dynamics, the gaming company yesterday, and I got to see all these different versions of Lara throughout, well, history now. What I realized was is the fact that it's truly the essence of her, the woman that has inspired a lot of both young girls and boys around the world for so many years. But she's morphed into a personality, a different persona of herself, due to what time she's in."
"It reflects on what times we are now," she said of the new movie. "This is the kind of girl you would relate to in 2018. I think if you would go on the streets and ask guys and girls of young ages what they would find cool or attractive, it's a very different answer you'd get now than in the mid-90s."
Like Jolie's first film, the 2018 movie one also revolves around a father-daughter relationship. But where Croft started out as a complete badass the first time around, audiences will now see her become one as she unravels the mystery of his disappearance.
"This is a coming-of-age story and that was our inspiration. This film is based on the 2013 reboot of the game and there she is a normal girl in the beginning," said Vikander. "If you have the origin story, that's the way for us to get to know our character, to feel for them, to relate to them on a more human level."
"I thought it was wonderful I could play a young woman who's still trying to find her footing in the world and also has a story with her dad that has been lost for 7 years," she continued. "She hasn't mourned him either because she doesn't know what happened, and it's a story of why she goes out into the world and all the traits and skills that she has within her are forced to be pulled out due to the adventure she goes on and the challenges she's put through."
"I wanted to have every single step hopefully portrayed from beginning to the end," added Vikander, "so at the end she becomes this action hero we so well know her to be."
"Tomb Raider" hits theaters March 16.