To Whom It May Concern at GK Films, WB and MGM,
Do NOT fuck this up.
Do not fuck up ‘Tomb Raider’.
If you fuck this up, I swear on everything sacred and super totally awesome, that I will never, ever give you any of my money for this “re-boot”. (technically, it’s a re-boot of the first two movies, which is based on the game series that has currently been re-booted, but who’s counting?) Here’s the thing you may ask yourself, while you take out another 20 dollar toilet paper roll to wipe your smug asses with, “Who gives a crap if we get your 11 bucks opening weekend, Nick Murphy?”
Well, you will. Because it won’t just be me, it’ll be the other fans of the series, who will vote with their wallets too and even though you’ll be optimistic to crack 40+ opening weekend, doesn’t 60-70 sound way, way more sweet?
It can happen, but I can tell you how it will not happen. If you don’t care about the source material. If you have to have an ‘assistant’ play the games to get a sense of who Lara Croft is, you’re doing it wrong. If you have Crystal Dynamics send you a series of “just the games cut scenes”, so you can study them for inspiration to your film, you’re doing it wrong. If one of the on-set P.A.’s on your movie, knows way more about ‘Tomb Raider’, than the higher ups and shakes his/her head in disbelief every time you yell “Cut”! on a scene, guess what? You’re fucking DOING IT WRONG!
Look, I know this is show “business”, you’re in it for the franchises at the moment and video games have yet to make it big at the box office. Here’s the things you need to consider, before you even set foot into pre-production. Here’s why it has NOT worked and how you can make this shit work.
1.) Video games don’t work as movies, because video games are interactive for each individual user experience. We get invested in our characters, because we get to control them. That’s hard to translate to the passive medium of watching. What can you do? What many, many others have failed at, get the back stories. The true back stories and the character motives that are in the games. Study the worlds and the backdrops and use those as your template to move them into the visual medium of film. Send them on a memorable journey, change what must be changed for the film, but keep true to the characters and back stories. Want to look at people who do this successfully? Look no further than fan films.
2.) Have people involved, at a higher creative level, that are TRUE fans. Do you know why Marvel works? Because Marvel’s production’s are overseen by Kevin Fiege, who is at his heart, a fan first and foremost. Kevin understands the big picture, but treats each movie as if it were truly a work of art. He also hires people who truly believe in the journey and whose unique voices and talent, mix in well with Marvel’s grand scheme. I see your writer is the writer of such awesome as “TMNT” and “Snow White and the Huntsman”. When I say awesome, I’m fucking being sarcastic. Are you kidding me with this horse shit?! I know he’s not solely responsible for the ultimate outcome of those films. Many, many cooks were involved in nuking that kitchen from orbit. However, he is responsible for the blue print, the recipe if you will, that the cooks can proceed to fuck up. I hope that he has a great script in him and I hope this is it! Because everything else he’s done is NOT made for the fans, nor does it have the voice of someone who was a fan, write it. If it does, and it got lost in the fucking process, to you Evan Daughtery, I stand corrected. But this is important, we need someone to write this who understands Lara, and wants to go with her on this journey.
3.) Do not just cut and paste from the games. Just don’t. We played the TR re-boot and it was glorious and vicious and mean. In fact, if you wanna grow a pair and make this Rated R, (the game was Rated M. That’s right, M, for mature, because Lara’s journey was a grisly one) then that’s awesome! You should do it! PG-13 does not always mean more money. If the game developers can woman-up and do the damn thingery, you can too! If you cut and paste from any of the games, we may as well go home and turn on our X-Box or Playstation. However, if you have elements of those games, loving homages, nods, all while servicing the story YOU want to tell, it will make us clap and cheer and sit there with smiles on our faces! I seriously cried at the end of the re-boot, because I experienced Lara’s quest with her and saw her fully embrace her destiny. You muther fuckers should make us cry.
Look, you have a golden opportunity here. I’m not saying that everyone on set has to be a huge Tomb Raider fan, I mean, it would help if the crafty person made Tomb Raider cookies on Friday’s, but that’s neither here nor there. What I’m saying is, the creative’s, the higher ups, start treating the video game movie franchises with the same respect Marvel is doing and you will see two things. You will see your franchise be truly successful and more importantly, you will see us line up to see it again.
Your fellow filmmaker,