Tyler Perry to play James Patterson detective Alex Cross
February 1st, 2011
05:58 PM ET

Tyler Perry to play James Patterson detective Alex Cross

"Madea" star Tyler Perry is ditching the drag and the dress for his next project. The hit filmmaker is set to play detective-psychologist Alex Cross in a film adaptation of James Patterson's novel "I, Alex Cross."

According to Deadline.com, the casting could prove controversial, as Perry's projects — such as 2010's "For Colored Girls…" — usually draw a largely female audience while Patterson's mysteries appeal mostly to men.

"I, Alex Cross" — Patterson's 16th novel —follows Cross as he attempts to track down barbaric serial killer Zeus. The project was originally conceived for actor Idris Elba before Perry, 41, landed the lead.

Morgan Freeman previously portrayed Cross in the films "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider."

What do you think of Perry being cast as Alex Cross?

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Filed under: Books • Celebrities • movies • Tyler Perry

soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. ユニフォーム

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    September 14, 2012 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
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    September 8, 2012 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Leon H.

    Please say it ain't so. Tyler does not fit the image in my mind of Alex Cross. He doesn't have the acting experience to handle such a role and he will ALWAYS be Madea! I will not watch this movie, it will mess up the rest of the Alex Cross books for me!

    December 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dianadux

    I dont see why Morgan Freeman can not play Alex Cross. He would be perfect for the roll,Alex is getting older,so I think he fits the profile.That if you read all of Alex Cross"s seiral.....

    July 11, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Artist Don

    It's gonna be tough for anyone to fill Morgan Freemans shoes. But if anybody can, Tyler Perry can. I think he has what it takes to do it.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Danny C

    Give the man a chance first and then make your judgments. I bet he will be gooood. Sure are a lot of comments on this. I'm betting the movie will be watched by a lot of folks. probably means its gonna be a hit!

    June 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. secrets

    I would have loved to see "The Rock" as Alex Cross with that fellow that was an investigator on that lawyer TV show Sharks as John Sampson. The books have them both big, tall nice looking men, with a little intensity about them.

    June 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Vinette

    Give the man a break les see how he do i know he will do well have faith he is a man of God

    June 15, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Carmela

    Yes most definately Tyler Perry. Love him as Madea but put that role aside. He is a good actor. He already said he was slimming down for the part. Morgan Freeman was good but I felt him to be a little old for the part. Denzil Washington would come off as actor Denzel Washington to me. I have the audio cd of I, Alex. If you listen to the cd you can invision Tyler as Alex Cross. Good Luck Mr. Perry, bring Alex Cross alive.

    May 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. connie williams

    come on people; Mr,Perry is a good actor.I think he has proving himself s a good actor. Its only a novie. lets see the movie first.We are not to judge; any 1 Thank you. & have a bless year.

    March 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bettie

    I like Tyler Perry; but I really think Idris Elba would be better.

    February 22, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ambi

    join my fb page to stop this

    February 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. karen

    Happy to read that they a virual man, except Idris would have been fine by me. Can't wait.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rev. George Brooks

    Why on earth is Tyler Perry getting himself re-tied to Hollywood and that "Jew-me" crowd, as Michael Jackson called them? Because he should know that their intention is to move in on his operation and take it over, eventually. For they do not want him, or any other black in movies and entertainment, to be "free and independent" of them. Damn! Will someone tell this guy to keep doing his own movies, and STAY FREE! Or is he going broke? Oprah Winfrey needs to do the same thing with this TV network that she supposedly owns, but only has just 50 percent of it. They are going to "Jew" her also, and leave her broke, with them eventually owning 100 percent. Black folks need to get and keep their own businesses, and remain FREE and off of white and Jew "plantations." - Rev. George Brooks

    February 4, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  16. Joanne

    I watch the first movies with Morgan Freeman before I started reading the book, he was good until I read the books. Morgan was too old for the character as described in the book, even back then and for sure now. As I started reading, I pictured Blair Underwood, but Tyler Perry? nah, don't think so........

    February 4, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  17. Devious


    Above is the email address of the company that aquired the rights. Let them know what everybody thinks of one of the most moronic casting decisions ever!!

    February 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Jan

    I remember his name: Dennis Haysbert.....he'd be a GREAT Alex Cross 🙂

    February 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jan

    I like Tyler Perry as a comedian, but can't picture him as Alex Cross. If Morgan Freeman can't continue to be Cross, I think the actor that played the President on 24 and he's now doing commercials for All State Insurance would be great. I can't remember his name 🙁 But I think he would be great!!

    February 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Your thinking of Dennis Haysbert and I totally agree. After seeing him on the unit he just seems to be made for the role.

      February 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Victor

    I could see Denzel doing it. I could see Idris doing it. I could even see Will Smith playing the part.

    Just can't get Perry in the picture though. Definitely a case of bad casting.

    February 3, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  21. Mrob

    I think Morgan Freeman could still play the part. When I am reading any Alex Cross books I still picture him as Alex. I think Denzel could of pulled it off but I don't think casting Tyler Perry is the end of the world either.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  22. evelynraymond

    Sad to say they went with the actor with the more well known name. Idris Elba was supposedly chosen awhile back now he's out and Tyler Perry is in, that could only be about box office power. Elba is less well known but would have been a great Cross. He has the talent and depth needed for this role. Perry as Cross may be a deal breaker as far as me plunking down the bucks to see this film in the theater. I think Mr. Perry so stick to what he does best and leave the acting to the guys that are really good at it.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  23. ty

    I listen to the audiobooks and the guy that reads sounds so much like Morgan Freeman. Unfortunately he is too old for the character. I just can't see Tyler Perry in this role

    Will Smith would be ok but he already plays a cop in Bad Boys. How about Terrence Howard?

    February 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  24. JLee

    I wish Tyler the best of the luck – this venture is so good for him to show how talented he is in so many facets. I'm all for giving it a chance before counting him out and giving the Hollywood execs a little credit – maybe they tried others who weren't avail, and maybe they envisioned Perry. GO TP!

    February 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  25. PamC

    I have all of the Alex Cross books and have ALWAYS pictured Denzel Washington as James Patterson's written descriptions of Cross. To say he is too old is rubbish – without his beard he looks now just as he did in The Bone Collector.
    PLEASE – lets have an actor who we be more than credible

    February 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Meeeeeee

    I think he would do a great job. He is a good dramatic and comedic actor. Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman are too old to play the part.. how about yummy Taye Diggs..

    February 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  27. JMARK

    The only stuff I have seen Tyler Perry play in were comedies so I am not sure how I feel about this. I have read probably 8-9 of the alex cross books and I love them but I never imagine a Tyler Perry type person as Alex Cross. Maybe more of the guy from Spawn or someone a liitle bit more athletic and gritty. Hope it works for you because their are tons of books and lots of money that could be made off this series.

    February 2, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  28. Diana

    Morgan Freeman was/is getting too old for this role. I always thought he was too old to be true to the character but he did well in the films. I actually think Will Smith could fill the roll if he brings out his "mature" acting side like he did in I Am Legend... Alex Cross is supposed to be youngish (40s), good looking..and focused. He is also a haunted man with having his wife been killed, plus one of his lovers murdered and another lover kidnapped. I love the Patterson/Cross novels!

    February 2, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  29. Suzy

    Love the books but this is a BAD CHOICE to play Alex Cross.

    February 2, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  30. Tyler Perry wants to be a woman

    Tyler wants to cut off his weiner then give up the browneye.

    February 2, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  31. Natalie

    I hope Tyler does a good job, but I would have rather seen Morgan Freeman reprise his role. He does such a great job playing Alex Cross. I have Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls.

    February 2, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  32. kathy

    Tyler will do a great job.

    February 2, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  33. Pablo

    I think Denzel would of course be great but I am not sure he woult take on a serial character like Alex Cross. I am worried that Tyler Perry is too one dimensional for the character... his acting in the Madea movies is not great and incredibly talented.... but he doesn't seem to be the best actor. Idris Elba seems perfect for the job, I think he could have been great. What about Terrence Howard or Don Cheadle?
    My favorite though would have to be Chiwetel Ejiofor... outstanding actor.

    February 2, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  34. Tanisha Lee

    After reading all of these comments, they are pretty negative. Think about all the movies that casted people we would have never thought of and the movie turned out great. This is his chance to shine. Give the man a chance, let him branch out.

    February 2, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  35. paulbmro

    Did Charlie Sheen wanted to commit suicide ? Details here: moviesfan.eu/news/item/303-did-charlie-sheen-wanted-to-commit-suicide-?

    February 2, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  36. wayne

    I think just because fictional character don't get old in the novel they should when in film. Hint, hint bring back morgan freeman. Hey when is patterson gonna stop milking the alex cross series anyway, just wondering?????

    February 2, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  37. shay

    ok..you guys we have to admit it denzel is getting dare i say it..old..so idris was the perfect choice! then they go and get madea! wth..im so hurt..so hurt...

    February 2, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  38. CJ

    Never imagined Tyler Perry as Alex Cross. Morgan Freeman is too old. Denzel is still fine, but I think he is also too old for the role. I feel Idris Elba would have been good casting. I Love Tyler Perry and I am willing to give him a chance and see what he can do. Good Luck Tyler!!!

    February 2, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  39. Mastermind

    I think Tyler Perry would be good at playing Alex Cross's bestfriend John Simpson.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
  40. Marie


    February 2, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  41. tkc

    Denzel would have been great for the role. Give Tyler a chance. he might shock us all.

    February 2, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  42. dr feelgood

    Wth happened to idris elba? I saw an interview where jp said he wanted idris to play alex cross. Its no way tyler perry is sophisicated enough to take up this role like morgan freeman set it up. This is a travesty. And I'm black too! LOL!

    February 2, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  43. KCV

    Please No!!! I love James Patterson and have been reading Alex Cross novels since I was a teenager, I can not see Tyler Perry in this role. I think Idris Elba, Denzel, Blair Underwood...someone older with the distinguished gentleman vibe. Tyler is OK for what he does and I applaud him for wanting to do something different, but please don't make Alex Cross your test dummy for serious acting. P.S. I just saw Tyler Perry's "Black Swan" poster, now I really can't take him seriously!

    February 1, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Mike S.

    It could open the series to a more general audience, though potentially jeopardizing future sequels. I'm betting he can pull it off as long as his voice don't twang.

    February 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Beautiful Vixen

    No, no, no! I read JP's book all the time with Alex Cross and they are going to f*** up the movie by having Tyler play the role of Alex Cross (not that I don't like Tyler but just not for this role). Oh crap now everytime I read JP's books with Alex Cross i'm going to picture Tyler Perry..lol. Talk about screwing up the image I had of Alex Cross being the tall, dark, handsome and tough bad ass detective..lol. Will Smith or Denzel would be great! @Elephant Man, no Alex Cross is not white.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  46. mad hater

    I'm not black, so I haven't seen any of his shizzle. Sounds like shizzle though.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Carol

    He also was in The Family That Preys. Another great performance

    February 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  48. cross girl

    I'm willing to give it a try. I am a recent fan of Perry's movies and think he can pull it off. I'm thinking more of the Why did I get married series and not of Madia.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Elephant Man

    I thought Alex Cross was white. Am I wrong?

    February 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • KCV

      LOL...you can't read an Alex Cross novel and not know that right? Maybe you're color blind, which is cool, and missed all the obvious clues....but I'm betting on you not reading the novels or just a prankster! ; ) Plus....Morgan Freeman is the original Alex in the first two movies.

      February 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sophie Damas

      alex cross is certaintly black as it was played by morgan freedman twice. loved both movies. took them a very long time to decide doing another movie!!!! however, i am scared or unsettled by tyler killing the character persona. but i will give him a chance to prove his talent as an actor as well

      February 2, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • tinus

      Alex Delaware is white,also a phsyciatrist, he's the main character in Jonathan Kellerman's novels.Similar characters, Delaware assist police in cases. Alex Cross is black.

      February 2, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Please read the books again, He is all man and He is all Black!!

      February 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Imperfect Angel

    I understand and agree with Hollywood's attempt to cast other actors besides the most famous (Denzel, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith, Pitt, Clooney, etc.). I'm burnt out on them...still have love for them, but share the spotlight! However, I don't think Tyler is the best fit for this role. His acting has improved a little, but to play such an iconic character may be too much at this stage in his ACTING career.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  51. North Carolina

    Tyler Perry is NOT ALEX CROSS......Please get somone else!!!!! This is NOT the role for Tyler Perry!!!!!

    February 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  52. shamura

    judging idiots....I never seen such judgement on acting and not one person here can act other than like a jerk. All his movies except one or two ..his acting is good.. and his purposely goes out of character on stage.. HE CAN HE IS THE DIRECTOR>IDIOT

    February 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  53. mad hater

    Or Ice T

    February 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  54. mad hater

    I wouldve picked Robert Downey jr. As his Tropic Thunder character

    February 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  55. twisted

    Tyler Perry can't even stay in character. He goes from madea to gay man in a blink.

    February 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  56. iho

    I wished it was Idris but I'm glad Tyler is doing something other than making bad movies. The Madea series has played out!!!

    February 1, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • SDH

      Agreed iho but the best case scenario that could come out of this is that it could be like if David Fincher made the Big Momma movies.

      February 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  57. SDH

    Idris Elba to Madea, alrighty then.

    February 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Sandra

    I cannot wait!

    February 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Carol

    @ Greg. Absolutely!

    February 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Eletthia

    Tyler is a very talented young man, this will be a great opportunity for him and us, his fans, to see him in a different character. I wish you the best Tyler.

    February 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  61. brooke

    sounds good to me, since i've never seen a tyler perry movie, nor a james patterson adaptation. he seems like a nice guy though, so whatevs.

    February 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Nita

    This has got to be a bad joke...

    February 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  63. greg

    I'd even be ok with Will Smith doing it if they did it from the beginning as Cross has always been referenced as looking like a young Muhammad Ali and Will does resemble him as well and would do a solid job adopting such an in depth character for a long franchise arc

    February 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Tommy Weaver

    They should have cast Kenneth Nkosi from White Wedding. I just saw it on DVD and thought he was great in it. Everyone should check it out. Whiteweddingmovie.com

    February 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  65. greg

    Unfortunately Morgan Freeman is now too old to play Alex Cross. Yet another missed opportunity by the studios ten years ago.

    February 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  66. JD

    Sounds more like a role for Denzel Washington than Tyler Perry. Idris would be good also. But why not Morgan Freeman?

    Regardless I will go see the film.

    February 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  67. greg

    This may be the single worst case of terrible casting ever. I agree that it should be Denzel whole-heartedly. If there were any real thinkers in the film industry they would realize that they could make 10 movies from the Alex Cross novels and make a few billion on them. What ever happened to long term ideas instead of rushing garbage movies out that flop at the box offfice. Anyone involved with any studios do me a favor and contact me and I'll lay it all out for you. This is going to ruin Cross for a lot of dedicated readers

    February 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      Completely agree, Greg. I love the Alex Cross series, but I don't visualize a Tyler Perry in that role. It will be hard to replace Morgan Freeman.

      February 2, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Ambi

      I so agree with you there is a long list of better and more seasoned black male actors that could have played this role ugh WTH were they thinking
      it matters not they waited to long after the first two movies in my opinion to come out with more anyway. I also find the last 7 AC books to be watered down and semi boring, he did a 180 on his writing style with AC books once they got extremely popular.

      February 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Regina

    What happen to Morgan Freeman?

    February 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  69. KBene

    Love James Patterson books! Enjoyed Morgan Freeman inn Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spide, but I WILL NOT be venturing to the theater to see Perry – I'll just read the book again!

    February 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coop

      Why is that? Do you even know who he is? Tyler is a good actor...Alex Cross is in his 40's, Morgaon is too old to play the part and he should not have play him to begin with. As much as I love Idris, he is too rugged for this person. Tyler will play the part fine.

      February 2, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • M3lanieB

      Although Morgan Freeman did an excellent job playing the part I actually think someone like Idris was closer to my image in my head when reading my first Alex Cross novel.

      February 2, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  70. colleen

    should have been denzel washington

    February 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patsy

      I agree-Morgan Freeman was a great Alex Cross but not good looking enough for love interests-especially for ladies like Ashley Judd. I agree with Denzel-he would have been perfect.

      August 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kara

      I agree denzel washington would have been perfect!

      February 24, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  71. bobby

    on god no....RUUUUUIIIIINED!

    February 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |

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