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Posted at 8:57 AM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Tyler Perry to play Alex Cross

By Jen Chaney

Tyler Perry, primed to solve crimes. (AP)

Tyler Perry has signed on to play the role of Alex Cross -- the crime-solving D.C. detective in James Patterson's seemingly never-ending series of popular novels -- in a new movie called "I, Alex Cross."

The Wrap and other outlets have confirmed the news, which gives Perry a high-profile starring role in a movie that is not a Perry production. Until now, the filmmaker has primarily tackled two major movie parts: Terry, the perfect husband in his "Why Did I Get Married?" movies, and Madea. You know Madea. She hosted a family reunion. And later, she went to jail. (For the record, Perry also appeared briefly in J.J. Abrams's "Star Trek.")

So can Perry pull off Alex Cross, a role previously played onscreen by Morgan Freeman in "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider"? And in a related question, what happened to Idris Elba, who at one time looked all set to take on the investigative role? He even sounded kind of excited about it during an interview over the summer, but apparently the deal must have fallen apart.

Post a comment and share your thoughts about this surprising casting development.

By Jen Chaney  | February 1, 2011; 8:57 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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No, no, no. Denzel Washington is Alex Cross.

Posted by: Arlington3 | February 1, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Nooo! What a horrible choice. I like Tyler Perry, but I cannot see him embody Alex Cross.

Posted by: ronaele70 | February 1, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I was disappointed with Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross simply due to the physical differences, now they fixed that issue but does Tyler have the chops to pull off a police detective with issues? we'll see... BTW, I agree that Idris Elba would have been a much better choice, but....

Posted by: shadeau | February 1, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

NOT a good choice... he's too young.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 1, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree -- way too young -- I actually liked Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross. Tyler Perry is good, but not Alex Cross.

Posted by: bingata744 | February 1, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

As much as i LUV Idris Elba i would have to go with Denzel!

Posted by: nall92 | February 1, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What are they doing?! much as I love Tyler Perry, no one should play the role,,but Denzel Washington. He is Alex Cross!!

Posted by: pinklady3 | February 1, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

It should be Idris Elba...Perry is all wrong for this....waaaaay to soft....

Posted by: RosaPearl | February 1, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I am a avid James Patterson fan and I agree that Tyler Perry is not the one to play Alex Cross. I always loved Morgan Freeman in the role, but TP cannot carry that character. I agree that Denzell Washington is the one with the swag to pull it off in grand style.

Posted by: alr47 | February 1, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Like already with James Patterson books, James Patterson movies have nuked the fridge with this decision.

Posted by: bsumner | February 1, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Tyler Perry, no. Idris Elba, YES!

Posted by: alexcb | February 1, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they were looking for someone who is especially good at self-promotion. I can't believe he's signing on to any project where he won't be able to add "Tyler Perry's ..." to the title.

Posted by: greatscott47 | February 1, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Denzel would make a wonderful Alex Cross (ex. when he played Easy Rollins) but I can actually see Tyler playing it. I surely will be among the first in line to get a ticket for that movie. I love James Patterson's Alex Cross and I think Tyler will do him justice. We'll see but I'm betting on him doing a great job.

Posted by: starr5 | February 1, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Will his screen credit read, "Tyler Perry's Tyler Perry"?

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | February 1, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I wish him well but I just can't see him playing Alex Cross. Not a good fit. Please prove me wrong Mr. Perry.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | February 1, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Tyler Perry can play a serious role, but I still don't see him as Alex Cross. It would be very awkward.

Posted by: UnknownHenson | February 1, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Tyler Perry? No way.

I LOVE me some Idris Elba and would have loved seeing him in this role.

Posted by: koala70 | February 1, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Elba would have been better. This is a disaster.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 1, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I love Tyler Perry. I have read all of James Patterson's novels and believe me the best choice for the roll of Alex Cross would be Keenen Ivory Wayans. Did you see I'm Going to Get You Sucka? Enough said.

Posted by: mbethea1 | February 1, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

No, No, No, No, No. Idris Elba was the best casting decision ever.

What did Tyler Perry do, convince them that his stunning 2 minute turn in Star Trek over-rode his vast experience as Madea?

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | February 1, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to the results of this union of two schlockmeisters. It will be excellent future fodder for Celebritologic repartee.

Posted by: kbockl | February 1, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

On the bright side, at least it's not Will Smith. Or his son.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 1, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

According to the books, Alex Cross is tall (check 1 for TP), handsome (deduct 1 for TP), and bears a slight resemblence to Muhammad Ali. There is NO way Tyler Perry should play Alex Cross.

Posted by: woodyblack | February 2, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh nooooooo! Is TP a serious enough actor to pull off the essence of Alex Cross?! Does he have the range, let alone sexiness? Based on the novels, he is the LAST person I would think of to play Alex. I am a huge fan of this series by Patterson and am really disappointed in this choice. Morgan Freeman is not believable in that role 15+ yrs later. Denzel maybe, Idris-- yummy! TP; I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Posted by: lnhicks97 | February 2, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I have read every Alex Cross book and
I didn't like Morgan Freeman playing Alex Cross either, he is to old. Denzel Washington would be perfect. Tyler Perry, no way, Alex Cross is not GAY.

Posted by: davidrose30 | February 2, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: FASTBLACK | February 2, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see his version of Alex Cross. Right now, it is hard for me to picture him in the role after whetting my appetite with Idris Elba - LML.

Posted by: cymp65 | February 3, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@Fastblack - I don't know how that Aretha/Halle thing worked in her head. She will have to either put on 100 pounds or wear Martin Lawrence's Big Momma fat suit.

Posted by: cymp65 | February 3, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

No! No! No! Alex Cross is ALL man. Tyler Perry NO! Idris Elba YES!!!!!

Posted by: missmert | February 3, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I too love Tyler Perry, however, I don't think he can pull this role off. Idris would be perfect in the role. Especially after seeing his outstanding performance in "Luther." Go back to the negotiation table please!

Posted by: wetc87 | February 4, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

WHAT!!? Have the these people read James Patterson's novels?!??! First Morgan Fredmen now Tyler Perry! Come on!
Denziel, Will Smith, Shermar Moore, and even P. Diddy would b a better choice!!!
PLZ dnt discrace Alex Cross!!

Posted by: Nessa17 | February 7, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

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