As franchise fever continues in Hollywood, Paramount Pictures is moving quickly toward mounting a sequel to “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” with Angelina Jolie set to reprise her role as adventuress Croft. After a high-profile search for a director, Paramount has set its sights on Jan De Bont.

Negotiations have begun with an eye toward getting the global actioner in production by early fall.

The studio and producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin had several high-profile helmers jockeying for the directing job after a strong draft of the script was turned in by Dean Georgaris, who also wrote the Paramount drama “Paycheck,” to which “Red Dragon” helmer Brett Ratner has signed on, and “Sam and George,” a vehicle for director Richard Donner and Mel Gibson.

Par’s desire to move quickly on the sequel is understandable given the popularity of the vidgame and the fact that the Simon West-directed original logged a worldwide gross of more than $230 million, including a $48 million domestic opening weekend that was the highest ever for a female-driven film.

Jolie is starring with Clive Owen in the Martin Campbell-directed Mandalay/Paramount drama “Beyond Borders.” She’s repped by Industry Ent. and Robert Offer, with De Bont repped by Endeavor and Original.