– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Let’s be real. Those early-2000s Tomb Raider flicks were of debatable quality, at best — and by debatable, I mean they were awful, but still hold a special place in the hearts of some our hearts. Part of why the films hold that place likely has to do with the casting of Angelina Jolie. While perhaps not the greatest interpretation of the character, she was iconic in her own right, and is likely still seen as Lara Croft by fans to this day.

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With that in mind, it’s very difficult to imagine anyone else cast in those same films without her…but that very well could have happened. Speaking with EW, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider director Simon West revealed that getting the studio to agree to her as Lara Croft was quite the chore:

“[She] had a great, dark reputation about her. She lived quite an alternative lifestyle and didn’t hold back her words. She spoke her mind, and she had a notorious reputation. It was quite hard for me to get her through the approval process at the studio, because I wanted an actress who was going to bring something to the part, and she brought this great Angelina Jolie mythology with her as this dark, crazy, wicked woman with a very particular and interesting personality. I wanted that mythology of Angelina Jolie to fuse with Lara Croft.”

As mentioned above, the films themselves weren’t anything super special, but if they got one thing right, it is the casting of Jolie. Now, nearly 20 years later, she’s been inexorably linked to the mythology of the Lara Croft character, for better or worse.

Do you think Angelina Jolie was the best actress to take on the role, or would you still have preferred someone else? Let us know who down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.