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Warning: possible mild spoilers ahead for Tomb Raider! Don't read any further if you want to go into the reboot completely blind!
For many, Lara Croft remains inextricable from the imagery of a woman dual-wielding two large-caliber handguns while making her way through a crypt. That has been the go-to look of Lara for decades, but don't expect to see her blasting away at bad guys in Roar Uthaug's Tomb Raider. In fact, she never fires a gun in the movie. To figure out why the film went with that bold move, CinemaBlend recently sat down with Tomb Raider producer Graham King at the film's press day in Los Angeles, and he said that it was all about keeping things grounded and realistic. As King explained:
Don't give her a gun, don't give her a semi-automatic weapon. Let's give her a bow and arrow. Let's give her all the hurdles possible. But again, have her make it believable.
This incarnation of the Tomb Raider saga is a clear origin story modeled after the 2013 reboot game. In the spirit of telling the tale of how Lara goes on to become a tomb raider, the folks behind the movie wanted to show a survivalist heroine who isn't a trained killer and not a soldier. She's a tough woman with an affinity for mixed martial arts, archery, and a wide variety of extreme sports, but she's not prepared for real combat and therefore never picks up a weapon that she's not trained to use.
That's not to say that there aren't hints at Lara's classic pistols in the movie. The trailers have already shown sequences in which she playfully holds her two badass handguns, which seems to suggest that Tomb Raider at least lays the groundwork for that Lara to eventually show up in a sequel. It's not a matter of never letting her use a gun; it's just not right for this particular story.
Taking the guns out of Lara's hand is a big step for the Tomb Raider franchise as a whole. The original Angelina Jolie-led Tomb Raider films leaned heavily into the gunplay to stage many of their action sequences, and the 2013 reboot game even allowed Lara to eventually get her hands on firearms in the later levels of the story. That said, in the process of translating that grounded and gritty Lara Croft to the silver screen, everyone involved in the 2018 movie ultimately decided that there were more realistic and exciting ways to turn her into a weapon without her pulling a trigger.