Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza said she would be interested in playing Lara Croft, now that the role will be recast whenever another Tomb Raider movie is made. Plaza was asked about the idea after admitting on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that her Scott Pilgrim vs. The World director Edger Wright really mistook the poster of her film Emily the Criminal for a Tomb Raider reboot. The movie rights for Tomb Raider are now up for grabs after MGM never made a sequel to Alicia Vikander's 2018 film.
The main poster for Emily the Criminal features Plaza, 38, wearing a grey tank top, similar to the one Lara Croft is usually depicted wearing. During an interview with Newsweek, Plaza said she didn't even realize the similarity until Wright texted her about it. "Emily is carrying a purse strap and Lara Croft has a gun holster; those are very different. It's very weird and totally accidental, but I'll take it," Plaza said.
Although Plaza's career has taken her on a path to much darker movies than life in Pawnee on Parks and Recreation, she hasn't led a big franchise yet. Still, if the opportunity is presented to star in Tomb Raider, she might take it. "Look, I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I love it," she told Newsweek of the idea.
"I love action movies, and I don't discriminate against big movies or small movies," she told the outlet. "I love all kinds of movies. I would love it if somehow that turned into a real thing, but who knows, I have no idea. That's an iconic character. She's the original bada—."
Vikander had hoped to play Lara Croft in a sequel to her 2018 Tomb Raider movie, but the project never got off the ground. The COVID-19 pandemic postponed any immediate plans. It appeared to finally be on the road to production last year when Lovecraft Country creator Misha Green was hired to write and direct, but that never happened. In July, Vikander hinted that Amazon's purchase of MGM put the project in limbo. Then, a few weeks later, The Wrap reported that MGM had until May to finally greenlight Tomb Raider 2, but it never did. The movie rights reverted back to Square Enix and Graham Kind's GK Films, which has to find a new studio partner. Vikander is not expected to be involved in a new Tomb Raider project that is ever greenlit.
The first actress to play Lara Croft on the screen was Angelina Jolie. She starred in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003). The movies made a combined $423 million worldwide for Paramount. The 2018 film grossed $275 million worldwide.