Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, the screenwriting duo who helped launch Marvel Studios superhero franchise by writing the first Iron Man film, have been hired by producer Graham King to hopefully work similar magic for a rebooted Tomb Raider franchise.
King’s KG Films production banner acquired the film rights to the video game franchise two months ago, announcing that they planned to have a new Tomb Raider film in theaters in 2013. Previously, Paramount produced two Tomb Raider films with Angelina Jolie as the game’s buxom heroine Lara Croft.
This new planned film will not be a continuation of Paramount’s previous films, so don’t expect to see Jolie back in the tight t-shirt and beige shorts. Instead, KG Films announced Fergus and Ostby’s hiring by ambitiously stating that their new film be an “origin story for Lara Croft that solidifies her place alongside Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor in the pantheon of great female action heroes.”
In addition to Iron Man, Fergus and Ostby earned an Academy Award nomination for their work on Alfonso Cuaron’s Children Of Men. They were also part of the parade of writers who have worked on Warner brothers’ perpetually in-development live action version of the classic anime Akira. They have also reteamed with their Iron Man director Jon Favreau for Cowboys & Aliens due out later this summer.
Perhaps the news that Warner Brothers attempt to make a live-action version of the classic anime film Akira was dead was perhaps a bit premature.
Collider is reporting that Children Of Men and Iron Man scripters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby are the latest writers to take a crack at adapting the popular animated film. Previously, Gary Whitta was working on a script that would split the original film into two parts for Leonardo DiCaprio’s production shingle Appian Way. Prior to that, Stephen Norrington took a crack at the script for producer Jon Peters.
I have to admit that I admire Warner’s tenacity in trying to get a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic anime up and running, no matter how much of a bad idea I think it is. The success of the original film can be traced to its careful balance between visual style and story substance. To try and capture that particular lightening in a bottle twice, especially when moving from the animated realm to the live action, seems doomed to fail.
But I have to wonder at the amount of development costs that the studio has accrued so far. Is there a point where the bean counters decide that the studio has spent enough and just pulls the plug on the whole thing, or do egos come into play and demand that the film be greenlit, that too much has been spent to NOT not go forward, incurring further expense on the gamble that the film will ultimately be a hit and recoup the already large layout of cash. (I have a feeling that this may have partially informed Warner’s decision to proceed with Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns after years and millions of dollars spent on various attempts to get a Superman franchise relaunched.)