On March 13th Spanish Tomb Raider fansite Tomb Raider Collection reported James Newton Howard to be the composer for the upcoming film reboot of Tomb Raider (2018) starring Alicia Vikander in the title role. Unconfirmed, this speculation follows rumours of involvement of the original video game composer, Nathan McCree. Distributors of the film Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and MGM (in select territories), made a press release today of which MoTR was a recipient of:
"From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Tomb Raider is the story that will set a young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero. The film stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) in the lead role, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (The Wave), with Oscar-winner Graham King (The Departed) producing under his GK Films banner. The film’s production begins on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the wildly popular videogame franchise from Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.
Tomb Raider also stars Dominic West (Money Monster, 300), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained) and Daniel Wu (AMC’s Into the Badlands).
Shooting on location in South Africa and the UK, Uthaug directs from a script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography George Richmond (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation); production designer Gary Freeman (Maleficent); Oscar-nominated editor Stuart Baird (Skyfall, Gorillas in the Mist); and costume designer Tim Wonsik (key costumer, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)."
The announcement lists production credits but fails to nominate a composer attached to the film. James Newton Howard's involvement is certainly an industry possibility - the prolific composer boasts an impressive body of aesthetically similar work including Salt (2010), The Hunger Games franchise (2012+) & Maleficent (2014). Although director Roar Uthaug consistently collaborates with Magnus Beite, it would not be a surprising push from producers to hire an established Hollywood composer for as high profile a film.
The question on the tip of every Tomb Raider fan's tongue remains - will the new film score utilise the video game theme(s)? Jason Graves constructed a fresh motif for the reboot continuation of the franchise consistent through Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015), despite the music for the latter being helmed by Bobby Tahouri. Alan Silvestri incorporated Nathan McCree's original motif in the soundtrack to the last franchise film entry, 2003's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life, but this is no indication a new composer would be confined to the same approach.