With an Oscar nomination and a couple of Golden Globes, what more could Angelina Jolie possibly want for her career?
Answer: To personify grrrl power in the form of cyber-femme fatale Lara Croft.
Tomb Raider Today's Daily Variety says the actress is in final negotiations to play the virtual vixen in Paramount's feature adaptation of the interactive game "Tomb Raider."
A little "Tomb Raider" background for readers outside of the, say, 15-to-24-year-old boy bracket: Lara Croft is a publishing magnate-turned-female action-adventurer whose repertoire includes anthropological discovery and traveling to exotic locales in a tight leotard, shorts and a sports bra. As make-believe people go, Croft is fairly powerful, with an international fan base as massive and dedicated as any for a real-life celeb like, well, Angelina Jolie. (Actually, Croft's club is probably bigger.)
But before you start to merge the two entities -- Croft and Jolie -- you might want to know that there have been some contradictory reports about casting for the big-screen flick. In the new Entertainment Weekly, "Tomb Raider" director Simon West ("Con Air") says he sees Lara being played by an anonymous nobody rather than by a Hollywood starlet. As West told EW: "We don't want to ram a Hollywood star into this thing, because Lara is visually [known]."
No reaction from West on the news about the Hollywood starlet (i.e., Jolie) circling his project. Also not much reaction yet on the Web from dedicated "Tomb Raider" fans.
Angelina Jolie To be sure, the casting of Croft has been a topic of online debate for months. Just take a look at the fan site "The Lara Croft Page" (http://network.ctimes.net/cb/lara/index.html). Along with a list of criteria that the actress who plays Lara Croft should meet (No. 1: "She must be a beauty, of course."), the site's movie section also promotes a series of suitable candidates who have been rumored to be up for the role. Among the mentions: Diane Lane, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Hurley, Catherine Zeta-Jones and even Jennifer Lopez.
Where's Angelina Jolie? Nowhere.
But not that it matters. A little Oscar buzz has apparently taken care of that.
HIT OR "MISS"? Director Donald Petrie ("My Favorite Martian") is in talks to helm "Miss Congeniality," the latest project for suddenly hit-challenged star Sandra Bullock, according to Variety.
In "Miss," Bullock will play an FBI agent who goes undercover as a beauty pageant contestant in order to stop a terrorist bombing. Not based on a true story.
MEOW: Teen movie vets Shannon Elizabeth ("American Pie") and Jerry O'Connell ("Scream 2") are slated to co-star in -- hey! -- another teen movie. The new one's a comedy called "Tomcats," Variety says. To be directed by Gregory Poirier, the film revolves around a group of friends who wager on who'll get married last. Not to be confused with any other teen movie involving a bunch of friends and/or a wager.