Lara Croft, the cyberbabe known by hordes of video game players as Indiana Jane, is one step closer to the bigscreen after Paramount Pictures struck a high six-figure deal for the worldwide film rights to Eidos Interactive’s video game “Tomb Raider.”
Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin will produce, and Eidos CEO Charles Cornwall will exec-produce the live-action adaptation of the widely popular game and its impossibly beautiful and big-breasted star.
The producers are in final negotiations with Brent V. Friedman (“Mortal Kombat: Annihilation”) to pen a screenplay, which is expected to incorporate elements of the two existing “Tomb Raider” games with a new storyline.
The deal with Paramount, which is looking at the project as a possible franchise vehicle, has several ancillary and merchandising components, including the intended simultaneous release of a counterpart game with the film.
“Tomb Raider” and its sequel, “Tomb Raider 2,” have sold more than six million copies to date. Croft has been featured on numerous magazines worldwide, and there are various Internet websites devoted to the games and their star. Internet devotees have hailed Croft as “tougher than Pammy (Anderson Lee) and smarter than Yoda.”
Despite her physical accoutrements in the games, Croft — a well-spoken sex symbol from an aristocratic English family, which disowned her for her eccentric ways — often uses brains over brawn. She spends her time exploring ancient ruins, lost temples and other remnants of lost civilizations across the globe.
The U.K.-based Eidos has been talking to several studios about a feature deal over the past few months, but was reportedly unsure whether it wanted a nondigital version of its 3D creation.
Paramount president John Goldwyn, who made the deal for the studio, and producers Gordon and Levin persuaded them otherwise.
“It’s (‘Tomb Raider’) based on the rare video game that is well-suited for film adaptation, not only because of its thematic and visual richness, but also because it’s so strongly character- and story-oriented,” said Gordon and Levin in a statement.
Friedman is repped by CAA.