NEW YORK — Oscar-nominated Angelina Jolie is in final negotiations to star for director Simon West in “Tomb Raider,” the live-action Paramount film based on the wildly popular videogame.
Jolie will play Lara Croft, a publishing magnate who travels to exotic locations to uncover and preserve ancient artifacts, facing danger and adventure along the way, like a female Indiana Jones.
The pic, produced by Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin, is set to begin production this summer; the studio is eyeing it as a potential tentpole franchise. Screenplay has been penned by several scribes, including the “Face/Off” team of Michael Werb and Michael Colleary, as well as Patrick Massett and John Zinman.
“Tomb Raider” has been a high-profile affair since Paramount bested multiple studios in a bidding battle for screen rights to the Eidos Interactive game. It hit the fast track when the studio hired West, the director whose first two features, “The General’s Daughter” and “Con Air,” each surpassed the $100 million gross mark domestically.
“Tomb Raider” has spawned several sequel videogames and has grown to become one of the top-selling vidgames of all time. It has also made a cult figure out of Croft, a heroine as brainy as she is sexy.
Those qualities fit Jolie, who is in contention for a supporting actress nod for “Girl, Interrupted,” a film for which she has already won the Golden Globe. She displayed more Croft-like qualities starring with Denzel Washington in “The Bone Collector,” which has grossed $70 million domestically since opening last fall.
Jolie will next be seen in “Gone in 60 Seconds,” the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced summer film for Disney and is currently starring with Antonio Banderas in “Dancing in the Dark,” written and directed by Michael Cristofer.
Jolie is managed by Industry Entertainment’s Geyer Kosinski; her attorney is Robert Offer of Bloom Hergott Diemer & Cook.