Everything we know about Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft on Netflix

Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023
Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023 /

Everyone’s favorite globe-trotting treasure hunter Lara Croft is back in action at Netflix! During Netflix’s first-ever DROP 01 event, the streamer released the official first look at the upcoming animated series Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft, which will feature Marvel star Hayley Atwell voicing the titular role.

The Agent Carter actress will take over for Camilla Luddington, who previously voiced Lara in all three Survivor trilogy games—Tomb Raider (2013), Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The upcoming series is produced by video game developer Crystal Dynamics and Legendary Television, and animated by Powerhouse Animation, the company behind the Castlevania series on Netflix.

Overall, 2023 has been a strong year for Tomb Raider fans, who have been in something of a drought since Shadow of the Tomb Raider released its last DLC in April 2019 and the Alicia Vikander-led Tomb Raider film in 2018. Not only have we gotten our first official look at Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft, but the original Tomb Raider games (1-3) are being restored and sold as a bundle for Nintendo Switch along with their respective companions.

Plus, Amazon has also revealed plans to create a Tomb Raider franchise, including a new video game, a feature film, and a live-action television series helmed by Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

The only downside is that neither the games nor the animated show are coming until 2024, but that leaves us with plenty of time to theorize and revisit the reboot games!

Why are the reboot games so important to the upcoming Netflix show? Because it’s set in the same continuity. If you watch the first look below, you’ll notice references to the 2013 game, like the framed photograph of Lara alongside the Endurance crew, including Jonah, Sam, Roth, and Reyes, and what appears to be a flashback to the fiery oil refinery moment in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We also know that Jonah will be in the anime!

Supposedly, the show will bridge the gap between the reboot trilogy and the first Tomb Raider game, but more on that later. For now, let’s dive into what we know about the series.

Who are the voice actors in Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft?

Some fans are a little dismayed that Luddington isn’t returning. I admit, I’m a little bummed as the rebooted trilogy was my first introduction to Lara Croft and so Luddington is Lara in my mind.

That said, I think Atwell is an excellent choice. Even though they are close in age (Luddington is 39 and Atwell is 41), the Marvel alum’s voice has a bit more gravitas, which would work well if they’re really hoping to push Lara to her iconic TR1 self.

Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to hear how Atwell sounds as Lara yet since it’s not included in the first look embedded above, but she’s done voice-acting work before in Marvel’s What/If…?, 3Below: Tales of Arcadia, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, and Avengers Assemble, if you want to get an idea of how she might sound.

We don’t know why Luddington isn’t coming back to do do the voice work for the popular heroine. Perhaps she was asked but scheduling wouldn’t allow her to do it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Luddington said something on social media to let fans know her feelings soon.

In addition to Atwell, as mentioned above, Endurance crew survivor and Lara’s trusted friend, Jonah Maiava, is returning! Deadline previously reported that voice actor Earl Baylon would be back to reprise his role. Heels star Allen Maldonado has also joined the cast as the character Zip, who has provided tech support to Lara in a couple of the games. His last appearance was in the 2009 game Tomb Raider: Underworld.

Additional cast members have not yet been announced, but here’s a running list we’ll use to keep tabs on the voice actors:

  • Hayley Atwell as Lara Croft
  • Earl Baylon as Jonah Maiava
  • Allen Maldonado as Zip

Behind the scenes, The Witcher: Blood Origin writer Tasha Huo has been tapped as the showrunner. She’s also executive producing. Though I wasn’t a fan of Blood Origin, just one look at Huo’s Twitter shows that she’s clearly a very passionate Tomb Raider fan and I’m super excited to see her vision for the show come to life.

Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023
Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023 /

Where is Lara Croft headed next?

Netflix is keeping the specific plot details for the show secret, but we do know that it is set after the events of the game trilogy, meaning after everything that happened in Unuratu in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and specifically the final narrative DLC, The Path Home.

Netflix shares that Lara’s next adventure follows her “as she takes on the role of the iconic tomb raider that she is destined to become. Twenty-five years after her first game appearance, Lara Croft continues to explore new territory.”

There is also a brief moment in the Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft trailer where she appears to be looking at a nine-tailed fox, which is a mythical fox spirit in Chinese mythology. That could give us a clue as to where Lara is headed next (Asia?).

Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft is supposed to “unify the timelines”

Showrunner Tasha Huo spoke to PCGamesN in 2021, revealing that Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft will “unify the timelines” created by the different iterations of Lara Croft. In short, it’s supposed to bridge the gap between the original games and the rebooted trilogy.

"“The Tomb Raider anime series… will provide fans like you – and me – around the world with some of the first steps toward unifying the Tomb Raider timelines, as we transition beyond the Survivor trilogy and start to follow Lara’s journey leading up to the first steps of that first Tomb Raider game."

She goes on to say that part of how they’ll do that is by bringing together pieces from the different timelines, such as the involvement of the character Zip, who—while not in the Survivor timeline—did appear in both the original and the LAU (Legend, Anniversary, Underworld) timelines.

In the reboot games, Lara Croft is not yet the legendary treasure hunter fans know her as from the original 1996 game, a version of Lara some have taken to calling “TR1 Lara.” Many fans have been waiting for the circa 2013 Lara Croft to become that Lara. She sort of gets there a few times throughout the recent trilogy, but not quite. The anime should help codify that final stage in Survivor Lara’s evolution to TR1.

Personally, I’ve loved seeing Lara grow across the reboot, but I didn’t grow up with the originals so I don’t have nostalgia impacting how I see the character. I’m definitely interested in picking up the restored games when they come to the Switch so I can get a fuller picture of the character we’ve all come to know and love.

In that same vein, star Hayley Atwell actually talked a little about the series and what viewers can expect while doing promo for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

She says the new show is “poignant, funny, and light,” and believes the writers really understand the tone of the franchise. Atwell also says the story has a natural progression toward what fans want, likely in terms of unifying the different versions of Lara, which sounds like a good sign!

There is no release date to share for the show just yet, but it is slated for a 2024 premiere. Stay tuned to Netflix Life for more information on Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft.

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