Tag Archive: angelina jolie


Lara Croft is the most recognisable female video game character in the world. At the beginning of this century two Tomb Raider films were released with Angelina Jolie taking on the role and, despite the original film still being the most successful film adaptation of a video game in the United States, both this and its sequel were not too well received by critics. Also, in recent years, the video game side of the Tomb Raider franchise has been waning. Until 2013. Earlier this month a reboot of the video game series hit the shelves, simply titled Tomb Raider. It received huge critical acclaim, is one of the best games I have ever played and obviously went on to sell more than a million copies in less than 48 hours. So it seems the time is right to reboot the franchise on the big screen, but who should play Lara Croft?

Here are my candidates:

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Gemma Arterton

Arterton has had experience in big action films before: Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans. While none of these films were exactly brilliant it has given Arterton the skills necessary to be let loose on her own big action franchise. She is currently one of the best British actresses working today and her talent is undeniable. I would definitely like to see her given a chance as Lara Croft.

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Hayley Atwell

Atwell is more of a television actress but made her break in Hollywood recently in Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger where her performance as Peggy Carter won her a lot of fans. She has shown her skills in Pillars of the Earth and The Duchess. However, her stock as a leading lady is yet to be tested and helming the Tomb Raider franchise could be a leap too far so early in her film career.

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Camilla Luddington

You may not know who Camilla Luddington is but she is the voice behind Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot of this year. On screen she has been in Californication, True Blood and Grey’s Anatomy but is yet to make her break in the film industry. However, depending on how closely involved the game’s publishers and producers are in making the film (my guess being not very) then she may have an outside shot at landing the role.

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Alice Eve

This is a long shot and probably won’t be considered. She is set to appear in Star Trek Into Darkness later this year so will be getting a lot of exposure both on screen and off it (if you’ve seen the new trailer you’ll know what I mean) and so she may be worth the risk?

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Bryce Dallas Howard

As the only non-Englishwoman on the list she would probably be my least favourite for the role (I just think that as Lara Croft is English it would be nice to see an English actress take the part this time) but Bryce Dallas Howard could be a nice fit. Previously appearing in Spider-Man 3, Terminator Salvation, 50/50 and The Help she has shown off her action credentials as well as her acting abilities.

For me, it’s between Gemma Arterton and Hayley Atwell with Arterton just winning in my mind!

Sharlto Copley is a man who clearly loves film. When he was growing up he wanted to become an actor and now that dream has been realised. But before that, Copley started up his own production company Vasbyt Films LLC and became South Africa’s youngest television producer at the age of 25. At age 22 Copley first met a 16 year old Neill Blomkamp (a name you’ll be hearing a lot in the coming paragraphs and years) and Blomkamp began working at Copley’s production company in return for the use of the computers at the company for Blomkamp to furthur his passion of 3D animation and design.

Over ten years after this meeting Sharlto Copley made his acting debut in short film Alive in Joburg about a close encounter of the third kind in Johannesburg. Copley also produced the six minute film which was directed by Neil Blomkamp. In 2009 Copley made his feature film acting debut, again directed by Blomkamp, in science fiction masterpiece and Oscar nominated film District 9, an adaptation of Alive in Joburg. You can read my review of District 9 here, but one thing I didn’t mention in the review was just how good Copley’s performance is. This was the first time he had acted in a full length feature but he looks right at home in front of the camera, his performance is excpetional and he is nothing but loveable in his role. The change and development his character goes through is unbelievable and the emotion that Copley is able to bring to the role is just wonderful. I think this is one of my favourite performances of recent years.

This performance and the success of District 9 allowed Copley to make another of his dreams come true. Thanks to his performance he was noticed by the Hollywood executives and cast in the film remake of one of Copley’s favourite television shows, The A-Team. Now, the cast looks pretty good on paper with the likes of Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper among the names and token eye-candy-in-summer-blockbuster Jessica Biel included, and there were some good action scenes that made it a fun popcorn movie but there was nothing to it. However, Copley’s performance as “Howling Mad” Murdock was the shining light of brilliance among the film and he even gained praise from Dwight Schultz, the man who made the character famous in the TV series.

Having tried his hand at action and science fiction it seems clear which one he enjoyed the most as a look at his upcoming films will tell you that Sharlto Copley is sure to become one of science fiction’s greatest ever actors. His next film is Europa Report about a crew of international astronauts sent on a mission to Jupiter’s fourth moon. Another upcoming film is the intriguing Open Grave which will see Copley try his hand at horror: Copley’s character wakes up in a pit of dead bodies with no memory and must try to find the serial killer or decide whether he himself is actually the killer.

After this Copley is set to team up with old friend Blomkamp for Elysium, another science fiction film, however not connected to the earlier District 9. There is a lot of anticipation and expectation surrounding Elysium because it is Blomkamp’s follow up project and it also features Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and William Fichtner among the cast. Copley’s role in Elysium is set to be completely different from District 9 as he plays a bad-ass and vile South African mercenary: his versatility is set to be tested.

With roles in the Oldboy remake and the retelling of Sleeping Beauty in Maleficent alongside Angelina Jolie Copley’s career looks to be a path that is very well chosen. All we are going to see over the coming years is just how good and how versatile Copley is. Such a talented actor, he already has a cult fan base but he is deserving of even more!

As the success of The Expendables continues to grow and the franchise likely to continue with a third instalment after kick-starting Sylvester Stallone’s and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career it should come as no surprise that this idea is spawning a sister project (of sorts). There are talks for an all female cast to step into the action boots and make an ‘Expendables‘ type film with the biggest female action stars of past and present. Here are my picks of the women I would like to see take part…

 

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

Sigourney Weaver pretty much changed the face of the female action scene with her role as Ellen Ripley in the Alien films. She has even been names the greatest female character in science-fiction film. Her role in this franchise helped carve the way for plenty of female-led action films in the future so Weaver is a shoe-in in my books. She would definitely have to be the leader of the group, the Stallone among our women.

 

HELEN MIRREN

Helen Mirren is a very accomplished English actress and although she is probably most famous for portraying Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen she has recently turned her hand to action films in Red and the upcoming sequel Red 2. She may not be able to keep up with the younger girls in the film but she could definitely fit the Bruce Willis role of the first film with an option for some action scenes later on.

 

ANGELINA JOLIE

Jolie’s film career seems to have waned recently but you cannot dispute the fact that she is an action hero through and through, no matter how serious she tries to be in other films. Tomb Raider, Mr & Mrs Smith, Wanted and Salt have all proven that Jolie has the action credentials to more than hold her own.

 

MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ

Here is one of Hollywood’s most common go-to-girls when in need of a tough female to compete with the action heroes. Rodriquez boasts such credits as Avatar, Fast and Furious and played the rough Anna-Lucia in LOST. I can tell you I definitely wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her, she just looks like she could kick some serious ass.

 

LUCY LIU

Jet Li is the Asian representative for The Expendables and I think Lucy Liu would be the ideal woman to portray a similar role in a female version of the film. She has been in the (albeit not very serious action) film version of Charlie’s Angels but was terrific in Kill Bill.

 

HALLE BERRY

X-Men, Catwoman, Die Another Day have all shown that Halle Berry is capable of being bad-ass at times. She is clearly a talented actress (even though it didn’t show in Catwoman) and I think she could definitely bring something different to the table.

 

MILLA JOVOVICH

She is the star of one of two of the most famous modern female-led action franchises of all time: Resident Evil. The other being…

 

KATE BECKINSALE

Underworld. And as well as here Beckinsale is showing off some action skills in the recent remake of Total Recall.

 

GINA CARANO

Finally, all of the above women have already proven they have what it takes in their long careers so they’re going to need some young blood too. Female action heroes aren’t something you find much among today’s young actresses but Gina Carano is currently making a name for herself, having appeared in Haywire and had a previous career in kick boxing and mixed martial arts. Would you really want to mess with her?

 

CHLOE MORETZ

This is my final choice. The male version of The Expendables focusses on a team of mercenaries and while Moretz may be too young for this the female version won’t be a carbon copy or remake of the original testosterone fuelled action film. Even if Moretz just had a small part as another character’s daughter who had a couple of scenes where she could really let loose that would be great!

 

Anyway… that’s me done. Who would you want to see take action in a female led action ensemble film?

Johnny Depp is not having the greatest time at the minute, both in the film world and in his personal life. He recently split from wife Vanessa Paradis and it has been reported by the Daily Mail that while the couple were still together Depp was getting close to ‘multiple women including his publicist’ and he has been romantically linked to The Rum Diary co star Amber Heard. He also looks set to have to pay Paradis a huge ¬£100million in the divorce, but lets focus on his film career here.

Depp was once one of the most popular, consistent and versatile actors working in Hollywood and his back catalogue of films looks impressive: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, From Hell, Secret Window and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. It is a career that has seen Depp nominated for three Oscars in his time and despite not winning any just yet he has been praised as one of the best actors working today (a statement which I am in full support of). However, his career does seem to have taken a turn for the worse.

I think his decline started when he agreed to play Captain Jack Sparrow in more than one film because it is obvious to anyone who even has a passing interest in films that the Pirates franchise just keeps getting worse the longer it goes on and yet Depp continues to star in them. Despite that though, he still managed to churn out Public Enemies, Corpse Bride and Rango in between the doomed franchise. Yet these are just a few of his films, lets look at the rest.

Johnny Depp’s films used to be critically acclaimed every single time, it was one of the only certainties in life, along with the fact that Kristen Stewart will not smile and Russell Brand will never be a good actor. But in 2010, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, in which Johnny Depp starred as the Mad Hatter got very mixed reviews, a lot of them being negative. Despite this though, the film is the eleventh highest grossing film of all time! But then he teamed up with Angelina Jolie for The Tourist. The Tourist received negative reviews across the board. It was, however, nominated for Golden Globes for Best Comedy or Musical and Depp and Jolie received Best Actor and Actress¬†nominations¬†respectively. It was these nominations that saw the Golden Globes as a laughing stock that year because The Tourist is neither a comedy or a musical but is in fact a very bad film; when the nominees were announced to the press it is reported that the press room erupted with laughter at The Tourist‘s nominations.

The Rum Diary came in 2011 and was expected to be a hit with Depp at the centre of it. However, The Rum Diary also received negative reviews from critics and failed to make back even half of its relatively low budget $45million. It seemed that Depp’s box office draw was waning by now. Most recently Depp starred in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and even this film bombed at the box office, pulling in only a small profit. Depp’s next project is The Lone Ranger where he will be portraying Tonto but early reaction to the pictures of him in this role has not been overly positive and it could prove to be another flop.

And now, in the midst of all the trouble in his personal life, production on another future film of his The Thin Man, a noir remake of 1934 classic, has stalled. Apparently this delay is due to concerns with the budget, perhaps films are unwilling to finance Depp films as much as they once were. His box office draw does seem to be faltering slightly, there is no denying that and with Pirates of the Caribbean 5 set to be made with Depp still portraying Captain Jack Sparrow you do have to worry for the future of his career. Johnny Depp is often hailed as one of the best actors to never win an Oscar (not just by me) but he is in danger of going out with a rather large blemish on the end of his career. I, for one, hope that this proves to just be a blip and that he returns to golden form once again very very soon!

 

Forbes has announced that the highest paid actress of the last year is Kristen Stewart; this is despite the fact that her acting abilities leave a lot to be desired and that she only has one facial expression. Perhaps, though, these reports will finally see Kristen Stewart being able to put a smile on that face of hers. This is no doubt going to cause some controversy with fans of actual actresses with talent like Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts (who also feature in the top ten) but if you look at the details, it makes sense.

Twilight, whether you like it or not (and for some daft reason a lot of people like seeing three non talented actors in lead roles of a Hollywood franchise), has become a huge worldwide success with Stewart in the lead role of Bella Swan. You can’t underestimate the importance of remaining consistent with actors and actresses in movies. Stewart is the main character in a huge Hollywood franchise and therefore is pretty much irreplaceable in many people’s eyes, meaning that a huge pay off is needed to keep her on board and stop other studios being able to tempt her away with a higher paycheck.

The list compiles the actress’ earnings between May 2011 and May 2012 and as well as having the Twilight series to promote Stewart has also proved that she can bring in the audiences without the help of Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner with Snow White and the Huntsman (although I do think that Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron were the main draw for the films success, not Stewart) and she was in the lead role yet again, taking a lot of the credit with the films strong success in the box offices.

Second place on the list might be even more surprising that first place: Cameron Diaz. Yes, she may be an experienced actress but what success has she had recently? Well Bad Teacher did surprisingly well at the box office (no doubt because Cameron was showing off her more raunchy side once more) and she took a pay cut on that in favour of a profit participation deal, a gamble that proved to pay off. She also collected a paycheck from What to Expect When You’re Expecting for which she was very highly paid reportedly so she is sitting pretty on top of a huge pile of cash right now I imagine.

The remainder of the top ten is as follows: Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker (seriously?!), Meryl Streep, Kristen Wiig and Jennifer Aniston. I was slightly surprised to see Jennifer Lawrence not on the list although I anticipate she will be featured very high up the rankings next year with her place in the new X-men franchise and The Hunger Games sequels likely to see her cashing in in the same way that Kristen Stewart has this year.

Kristen Stewart will be seen later this year in Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the trailer for which is below: