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There are a handful of paperback detectives who deserve proper big-screen attention. Lucas Davenport, the tough-as-nails protagonist in John Sandford’s series of novels comes to mind. Robert Crais’ fantastically sarcastic Elvis Cole is another character I’d love to see with his own film franchise. And, of course, there’s James Patterson’s brilliant criminologist, Alex Cross.
Now, I know what you are going to say. They've already made two Alex Cross movies in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. But if you think Morgan Freeman was the right actor to play the fearless, quick-witted D.C. detective, then we must have been reading different books.
For that reason, I’m intrigued by director Rob Cohen’s attempt to reboot the franchise with I, Alex Cross, an adaptation of Patterson’s bestseller that replaces Freeman with actor-director Tyler Perry. That’s an inspired bit of non-conventional casting, and I think it’s perfect. I also approve of the hire of Jean Reno (The Da Vinci Code) to play a mysterious character who may or may not be helping Cross take down a ruthless serial killer, set to be played by Matthew Fox, as Variety reports.
Based on Patterson’s 11th novel in the wildly popular series, I, Alex Cross is shaping up to be the Cross film fans of the character have been waiting for. We’ll have to wait until 2012 to see how these decisions pan out, but I like the moves Cohen and his team has made to date.