I don’t think anyone, outside of his fans (and Oprah), takes Tyler Perry seriously as an actor. They don’t take him seriously as a filmmaker either, but they take him even less seriously as an actor, since for the most part the only person casting him in anything is himself.

Now though, he’s building on his breakout role as Commander Starfleet in 2009’s Star Trek and taking on a leading role in someone else’s film. It’s a reboot actually, of the Alex Cross franchise which once starred Morgan Freeman. What’s that? You had no idea there was an Alex Cross franchise? That’s because like everyone else in the world you’ve already forgotten the fairly insignificant thrillers in which Freeman played him, Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, ever existed.

That character is based on one in a series of books by author James Patterson. Alex Cross was written as an African American detective and psychologist living and solving homicides in Washington D.C. The books are apparently quite popular, which suggests they deserve a better movie than the ones that Morgan Freeman made out of them. Lucky for the reboot, Tyler Perry isn’t in charge of filming them, he just has to show up and read his lines. And while I’m not entirely certain of his skills as an actor, I’m infinitely certain that his skills as an actor far surpass his abilities as a filmmaker. If he can act at all, then this could be pretty good. Even if it’s not, his fans will make sure it’s wildly popular.

With Tyler Perry not at all behind the camera, the movie’s being directed by Rob Cohen, best known as the man behind such movies as xXx and The Fast and the Furious. Here’s a fun fact: The second of Morgan Freeman’s Alex Ross movies, Along Came A Spider, was directed by Lee Tamahori. Tamahori would later go on to helm the first sequel to Cohen’s xXx actioner, the abortive Ice Cube vehicle xXx: State of the Union.

Here’s another fun fact. Originally this movie was being made by David Twohy. Rob Cohen directed Vin Diesel in xXx and Twohy gave Vin Diesel his first push towards fame with Pitch Black, ultimately making xXx possible. Unfortunately Twohy is now out of the picture, and along with him went Idris Elba, the actor originally slated to take on the Alex Cross role which now belongs to Tyler Perry.

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