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Madea Slips into God’s Leather Pimp Coat for the Alex Cross Reboot

February 1, 2011

For those of us who thought Idris Elba was a slam dunk for the planned reboot of those old Ashley Judd/Morgan Freeman yearly slumber parties, we were wrong! According to Deadline.com Tyler Perry is the new Alex Cross:

The Alex Cross reboot was originally conceived as a vehicle for actor Idris Elba, who was going to play the character in the novel Cross, with David Twohy directing. Perry became the lead in recent weeks. It’s likely to be a controversial choice, and the key will be whether Perry can bring the considerable following that follow his directing vehicles. His biggest successes came when Perry played the female alter ego, the stereotypical matriarch Madea

Morgan as Alex Cross

For those who have never been inside an airport or passed a dump bin at a chain book store, Dr. Alex Cross – a forensic Psychologist, or whatever – is the brainchild of novelist James Patterson, who churns Cross novels out like Prince churns out albums. Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider were the only films in the franchise, and frankly, that’s a good thing:

Kiss the Girls asks the musical question: “What’s a couple of nice actors like y’all doing in a hot mess like this?” and then spends the next two hours trying to answer that question with varying degrees of success. Now, Kiss the Girls is not the worst film ever made. it’s not a terrible adaptation of the best-selling novel by James Patterson. It’s not even a terrible suspense thriller. Kiss the Girls is an average, paint-by-numbers thriller starring some sublimely talented and incredibly likable leads (Freeman and Judd) who try to keep a leaky rowboat of a film from capsizing under the weight of its Silence of the Lambesque rehashing of a sexually deviant serial killer, bleak cinematography and punishing running time. As Kiss the Girls trudges towards its inevitable and moderately satisfying conclusion I kept asking myself, How many Shaftastic black leather pimp coats does Dr. Alex Cross own?

Why not Clark Johnson. He's an amazing actor and gifted director as well.

While we should all cheer for a franchise, which gives some of our underemployed, sublimely talented Blactors something to do with their time, Perry isn’t exactly that. Perry has been adept at carving a niche for himself as a filmmaker and cultivating a loyal audience who will show up for anything he releases. It’s definitely a smart idea to attempt to build a franchise around an actor who has demonstrated star power, but I can’t say Perry is the actor conjured up when I hear the name, “Alex Cross”. I mean a reasonable choice would have been Will Smith, if we’re being lazy and obvious. I’m not saying Perry can’t get’er done, but I am saying he’s not tested in this genre and he’s certainly not fan fave either. Idris Elba seemed to be that choice. Though there were noises about Cheadle and Baby Wipes.

I will be the first to admit, I didn’t find Perry to be dreadful in Star Trek. He demonstrated the proper level of restraint and reverence. Since I have no idea what the reboot will entail, except it’s based on I, Alex Cross, Patterson’s literary reboot of the series, which I haven’t read yet, I’m gonna reserve judgement. But I am curious what you think about this. I actually have no strong opinion on the polarizing topic of rehashes and reboots as it relates to this project, because I think the original was kind of crappy; it’s not like the reboot could be worse.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. foiaproj permalink
    February 1, 2011 9:44 am

    It seems like Perry is looking to widen his audience just as much as the producers of the Cross project are looking for someone with a proven draw to get people into the theaters.

  2. February 1, 2011 9:46 am

    It seems Perry is looking to widen his audience just as much as the producers of the Cross project are looking for someone with a proven draw to get people into the theaters.

  3. February 1, 2011 10:20 am

    Tis true. It’s not entirely terrible reasoning. Though they should consider the built-in audience of Patterson’s novels and whether or not they will accept Perry.

  4. February 1, 2011 12:09 pm

    He wasn’t bad in Star Trek, you’re right, but he kinda just seemed to be playing Tyler Perry in the future in space. You know I have a fascination with his charisma as a performer (and business skills), but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Tyler Perry to really disappear into a character. I will be curious to see if this cross-over is a successful bridge for him into the blockbuster mainstream, or if it’s going to drag the franchise into a smaller “genre”-sized audience.

  5. hsofia permalink
    February 1, 2011 7:56 pm

    Rats. Tyler Perry’s permanent expression is my dad’s lying face*. I very much dislike this, though I understand the financial hopes attached to it. I’ve never seen any Patterson adaptations, but I would have seen an Idris Elba reboot if it was considered even slightly good. But with Perry? No. I can think of a lot of other actors I’d rather see in this – even lesser known ones than Elba. Michael Boatman, Andre Braugher, Richard Brooks, AVERY Brooks … and that’s just the B’s, goddammit.

  6. hsofia permalink
    February 1, 2011 7:57 pm

    *Carl Weathers can also often be seeing wearing my dad’s lying face when he’s acting.

  7. February 1, 2011 8:11 pm

    I was thinking Andre Braugher too!

  8. Matt permalink
    February 5, 2011 2:15 pm

    Alex Cross is a great character. Other than physical stature I can’t see what Perry would bring to the role. Idris would have been a better choice.

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