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Monday, 2 September, 2002, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Lara Croft boosts Hong Kong
Tomb Raider
The first film was a hit despite poor reviews
The Hong Kong film industry is set to get a boost after the makers of the sequel to the Tomb Raider movie decided to shoot part of the film in the territory.

About 100 local crew will be recruited to work on the movie, which will pick up the adventures of gun-toting "cyberbabe" Lara Croft, played by Angelina Jolie.

The film is expected to feature Croft, who started life as a video game character, battling a Chinese gang.

Lara Croft
Croft has switched from console to cinema
Film-makers have already revealed how they will use a Welsh mountain backdrop to shoot scenes set in China after being refused permission to film at the Great Wall of China.

But Hong Kong authorities have welcomed the production.

"About half of the film will be shot in the territory," the newsletter of the government's Film Services Office said.

"If all goes well, filming will commence early next year.

"By that time some 50 production people from overseas will be working closely with approximately 100 local crew members in the project."

Filming

Jolie, 27, will star alongside Scottish actor Gerard Butler, who plays Croft's former lover Terry Sheridan, and ex-Red Dwarf favourite Chris Barrie, who plays her butler.

Underwater sequences were due to be shot on the picturesque Greek island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea at the end of August.

Producers are now due to arrive at north west Wales in September for a week-long shoot.

Paramount Features had hoped to shoot parts of Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Fire on the Great Wall of China, but were refused permission to film at the landmark.

Special effects

They will now use Snowdonia and other locations in Gwynedd as the backdrop to the second big-screen blockbuster to star the edgy computer game heroine.

Special effects masters will use computer imaging to make the place look more like the movie's actual China setting.

The fictional character of English globe-trotter Croft first appeared in a hit series of Tomb Raider video games in 1995 and has become a multi-media star.

The first movie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, leaped to the top of the UK box office and has taken more than $250m (£160m) at box offices around the world.

See also:

20 May 02 | New Media
10 Jul 01 | Film
03 Jul 01 | Film
16 Jun 01 | Film
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