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Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie is back as Lara Croft, one of the world's most celebrated action heroines to ever hit the big screen, in Lara Croft and The Cradle of Life: Tomb Raider 2. Principal photography on the Paramount Pictures presentation, in association with Mutual Film Company, began recently on the Greek island of Santorini. The film will open nationwide on July 25, 2003. The first Tomb Raider movie had the biggest opening ever for a film with a female star, grossing $47.7 million the first weekend. The massive blockbuster went on to gross nearly $300 million worldwide. Judging from the phenomenal success of the highly popular action-adventure, it was only a matter of time before the intrepid tomb raider was thrilling audiences again.
Brought to the screen by the original Tomb Raider producers, Lawrence Gordon (Die Hard, 48 Hours) and Lloyd Levin (Boogie Nights), Lara Croft and The Cradle of Life is directed by Jan De Bont (Speed, Twister), and stars Angelina Jolie (Girl Interrupted, Original Sin) along with returning cast members Noah Taylor (Vanilla Sky) and Christopher Barrie (Red Dwarf). Gerard Butler (Timeline), Ciaran Hinds (The Road To Perdition, The Sum of All Fears) and Djimon Hounsou (The Four Feathers, Gladiator) join the cast of the film, which is executive produced by Jeremy Heath Smith (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider).
"The combination of an action director like Jan De Bont and our greatest asset, Angelina Jolie, makes this the perfect marriage," says producer Lawrence Gordon. "In addition, we have an incredibly inventive story that entertains and advances the characters." "We're raising the stakes significantly with the sequel, telling an edgier, more dangerous and exciting tale," adds producer Lloyd Levin. "Lara is taking us on a wildly ambitious journey this time, and I'm especially looking forward to watching Angelina rise to the challenge."
The Cradle of Life develops the character of aristocratic Lara Croft, the beautiful sexy heroine of Eidos Interactive's phenomenally successful, Tomb Raider game series. For an action director like Jan De Bont, the film is exactly the kind of roller coaster ride that made his reputation. "I have always been in love with the Lara Croft character in Tomb Raider and was convinced it would make a fantastic franchise," says De Bont. "To have an incredibly exciting heroine like her is the most ideal thing for a director like me. Add to that Angelina Jolie, who is both talented and daring enough to do her own stunts, and we have something really amazing."
Dean Georgaris' script is based on an original story by Kirk Petruccelli & Lloyd Levin. Stemming from the Eidos Interactive Game Series developed by Core Design, The Cradle of Life pits Lara Croft against her greatest challenges and dangers yet, and her physical prowess is tested as never before. During the course of filming this exciting installment of the Lara Croft saga, the production will travel from Hong Kong to Kenya and from Wales to Greece. In addition, elaborate interior and exterior sets, built at the production's home base, Pinewood Studios, located outside London, will bring the world of Lara Croft vividly to life. Before she took on the role of Lara Croft, Angelina Jolie embarked on a serious training regime to regain the physical aptitude she displayed in the first Tomb Raider.
Since completing that enormously successful film, Jolie appeared in Life or Something Like It earlier this year, and she most recently filmed Beyond Borders, directed by Martin Campbell, scheduled for release next year. Girl, Interrupted not only garnered Jolie an Academy Award(R) for Best Supporting Actress, but also her third Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She earned her first Golden Globe Award for TNT's George Wallace and her second for HBO's Gia, and both telepics brought her Emmy nominations. Additional films in Jolie's impressive filmography are Gone in Sixty Seconds, Dancing in the Dark, The Bone Collector, Pushing Tin, Foxfire, Hackers, Hallmark Hall of Fame's True Women and Playing By Heart, for which Jolie was awarded the Breakthrough Performance Award by the National Board of Review.