When Lara starts smashing the clock with a hammer, Hillary (the butler) uses a silver tray to protect his face. This is a reference to the games, in which, while exploring Croft Manor, the player can shoot at the butler, who then also uses the tray he's carrying around to protect himself.
Filming the scenes where Lara drives her Land Rover through the jungle there had to be endless re-shoots due to snakes and other wildlife falling through the open top roof. Angelina Jolie herself was reported to be terrified.
Angelina Jolie did her own bungee-ballet, and according to an interview with her on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) , injured her ankle on the first take when landing on top of a chandelier went bad, so that part of the scene had to be done over again after she recovered.
In the much-shown previews, at one point, Lara (Angelina Jolie) says to Powell (Iain Glen) "You might try to kill me." Powell replies that he "would never kill a lady." She replies archly "I said you'd try." That exchange doesn't appear in the final cut.
Alex West (Daniel Craig) was originally named "Alex Mars", but because the name hadn't been cleared by the legal department, it couldn't be used. Director Simon West decided to name the character "Alex West", after his father, since he knew, that if needed, he could get legal clearance for the name.
Many of Lara's action moves are known and loved by any aficionados of the video games. Drawing weapons mid-somersault, swallow dives into water, forward rolls to reverse direction, are signature moves of the experienced player.
Lara has been given several gadgets in the film, which are specific nods at certain gameplay features of the Tomb Raider games. Amongst them, the reloader belt or back pack (allowing her to reload her guns very quickly, and without fidgeting about with clips or bullets) and the back pack itself (which almost mysteriously "swallows" any item moved close to its bottom or side by Lara, like the first half of the Triangle).
The temple on the hill in Cambodia, at which Lara lands, is Phnom Bakheng, which is just outside the South Gate of the city of Angkor Thom. Next, when we see her drive her Land Rover, Lara is at Bayon, at the center of Angkor Thom. The temple with trees overgrown on it, where Lara falls into the hidden tomb, is Ta Prohm.
Angelina Jolie agreed to do the first film because of all the locations she would get to visit. She fell in love with Cambodia, leading her to move there and help with a minefield cleanup. It was also where she met and eventually adopted her first son, Maddox.
The filmmakers, at first, envisioned the scenes ultimately shot in Cambodia taking place at the Great Wall of China. When the schedule didn't allow for this to happen, the alternative was to build the Great Wall in Scotland. Ultimately, they opted for the stone temples of Cambodia instead.
At the time of filming, Angelina Jolie sported a large tattoo on her upper left arm. Make-up was used to cover the tattoo, but one can see where the tattoo has been covered up in several scenes, particularly the shower scene.
Angelina Jolie was extremely hesitant towards wearing Lara's famous short shorts that she wears in the games, and the opening fight scene with Simon. However, she eventually agreed, because she knew it would make the fans of the character happy.
The Illuminati is reported to be a real-life secret society with origins dating back to at least the 1700s, though it is a matter of debate whether it still exists. Many books, factual, fiction, or science fiction novels, have been written about this legendary group, the best known being the "Illuminatus!" trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.
Apart from normal jumping, the only moves Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) does in the movie which can also be done in the games is the jump over the living statue and rolls in the air. This can be done in the PlayStation game by pressing forward and square, then circle while in the air.
Martin Clunes was originally asked to play Lara's butler, but filming dates clashed with his wedding anniversary (he makes a special point of never working on his anniversary), so he turned it down. The part was eventually taken by Chris Barrie.
Originally, Lara (Angelina Jolie) was going to be naked in the shower scene, similar to the epilogue of the video game sequel, but the idea was dropped, in order to avoid an R-rating. So the film could secure a PG-13 rating instead, only her sideboobs are seen.
The rather odd looking record player, shown for a brief second, when she is doing her bungee ballet in her house, is a Clear, Audio Master Reference Table. It comes all gold plated, and retails for twenty-seven thousand U.S. dollars.
When the Tomb Raiders invade Siberia, they're flying in a pair of CH-46 Chinook helicopters, the only twin rotor helicopter in the U.S. arsenal (long since abandoned). Some services list it as a CH-46, while others list it as an MH-46.
5 years after the film's release, Daniel Craig became the 6th actor to play James Bond in the reboot Casino Royale (2006). The James Bond movies were one of the influences behind the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider video game.