Hot pants in the tundra? As Tomb Raider hits cinemas, Lara Croft’s writers and developers explain her evolution from pneumatic bait for teenage boys to global sensation – and reveal why motherhood may be next
Lara Croft is one of the few video-game characters to have crossed over into real-world celebrity. As with James Bond, her various iterations have reflected the times. When the first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996, she was a sex symbol in sunglasses and a tank top, later featuring in Playboy and on the cover of style magazine the Face.
Embodied by Angelina Jolie in the 2001 film, she is curvy and capable, kicking the collective ass of the Illuminati. In 2013, she was a shipwrecked student in torn cargo pants – an accidental metaphor for graduates struggling through the economic recession. Now, in a Tomb Raider movie out this week, Alicia Vikander plays a tearaway Croft dossing around in London.