Lara Croft: 5 Actors Who Could Play Her

In January news dropped that Phoebe Waller-Bridge is reportedly developing a Tomb Raider TV series

In January this year, news dropped that Phoebe Waller-Bridge is reportedly developing a Tomb Raider TV series. This iconic video game franchise saw players become Lara Croft. An aristocratic British adventurer-archaeologist who travels the world hunting for buried treasure. Inspired by Harrison Ford‘s Indiana Jones, Lara became a hero to millions of girls. As well as a sex symbol. Indeed, debate continues to this day as to whether Toby Gard‘s seminal creation can be seen as a feminist icon or a male fantasy. Notably, Gard’s stated intention was to create a heroine that was cool, collected and in control. Tomb Raider’s runaway success spawned the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Starring Angelina Jolie as the titular character. Additionally, Alicia Vikander played Lara Croft’s role in 2018’s Tomb Raider. Furthermore, the character holds six Guinness World Records and has appeared in comics, and animated short films and has a range of action figures. We thought we’d list five actors we think could play Lara in Waller-Bridge’s rumoured TV show.


Hayley Atwell

This is the role that Atwell was born to play. The Peggy Carter actress has more than proved that she can be tough, witty, glamourous and kick anyone’s ass. All of which are qualities that Lara Croft needs. Over and above that, this performer would kill it as a rebellious British aristocrat. It’s been reported that Atwell is going to voice Core Design’s iconic action heroine in an upcoming animated series. I’d still like to see her play Lara in live action though. Atwell has the charisma, grit and star power to carry a Lara Croft series.


Eliza Dushku

This star’s career has been built on playing strong, dangerous women. So for that reason she would be perfect as Lara Croft. The former Faith Lehane can undoubtedly handle the action sequences a Lara Croft series would call for. Moreover, Dushku’s turn in Jane Wants A Boyfriend shows that she can play a mentor figure as well as an action girl. Which would work well if Waller-Bridge was to bring in Samantha Nishimura, Lara’s best friend from the 2013 Tomb Raider, to the upcoming show. Maybe we could see Dushku’s Croft and Samantha work together to survive after being stranded?


Aubrey Plaza

Plaza herself has expressed interest in taking on this character. After seeing her in Emily the Criminal I think she would be an outstanding choice. Plaza has shown that she can be tough as nails yet somehow vulnerable. For these reasons I think she would be great as Lara Croft. I also feel this actor could portray Lara’s sardonic wit well. Waller-Bridge’s writing coupled with Plaza’s offbeat humour and deadpan delivery could give us some hilarious and meme-able moments.


Karen Gillan

Based on her work as Ruby Roundhouse in the Jumanji franchise. I feel that Gillan would be an excellent Lara Croft. Who could definitely manage the action scenes required. Further, I think that the former Amy Pond could show Croft’s ruthlessness. Based on her MCU Nebula role. This actor has a much more wacky and goofy comedy style than my previous two choices. Depending on how Lara Croft was written it’s possible that the Fleabag and Killing Eve creator could tailor the humour to Gillan’s acting method. Like Hayley Atwell, Karen Gillan also has the grittiness and name recognition to lead a Tomb Raider TV series.


Felicity Jones

The Jyn Erso star absolutely has the range to play Lara Croft. I believe that this actor could show us a more calculating adventurer who is always two steps ahead of her enemies. Like Hayley Atwell, Jones could also play a believable British aristocrat. Moreover, this actor is no stranger to physical roles. As her Rogue One character proves. My own view is that this performer could bring a subtle complexity to Lara Croft and go deep into who she is and why she does what she does. Again, this would depend on the writing; but I’m confident that Waller-Bridge can deliver.


Who would you like to see play Lara Croft? What do you think of our choices? Please leave a comment and remember; somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, somewhere the tea’s getting cold.


Check out our Tomb Raider film review here


Check out our list of 6 Badass Female Video Game Characters here

Autistic writer who loves sci-fi, cosplay and poetry. Actor with Theatre of the Senses. He/him.
    4 Comments on this post.
  • dalek01012
    10 February 2023 at 7:31 pm -

    Have to be honest Dom. None of those choices are really standing out to me. Atwell is 40 so would not be viable in the role should it become a successful series or series of movies. Same deal with Dushku. Really for Lara Croft the actor needs to be mid 20s at least so that the producers of the series or films get a few years out of them. I’d say no older than 30.

    I’d be looking more to actors like Chloe Grace Moretz, Jenna Ortega, or Jodie Comer as more age appropriate candidates.

  • Dominic Walsh
    10 February 2023 at 8:36 pm -

    I see what you’re saying Ian. To be honest I kind of thought that while I was writing the article. I just went with actors I’m familiar with.

  • Dominic Walsh
    10 February 2023 at 10:13 pm -

    In fairness I think everyone I’ve listed here would be good as Lara Croft.

  • dalek01012
    11 February 2023 at 1:28 am -

    I’m not necessarily saying they wouldn’t be good. Am saying that I feel that the directors and producers of a new Lara Croft movie or TV series would most likely look to someone younger. Dushku in her day could do some kick ass stuff. Most likely still could. But I feel she’s too old to play Lara Croft now. Where as 10 to 15 years ago. Both Dushku and Atwell would likely have been in the running.

    At 35 Gillan may still be in the running given that I think Vikander was in her 30s when she played the role. But I reckon a producer or director would likely look for a younger talent that could give them longevity over a 5 year series or a trio of movies.

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