Tyler Perry is stepping out of his comfort zone to take on a large, iconic role in the upcoming crime novel adaptation "Alex Cross." The first trailer for the movie just hit the Internet, and looks like it will be something completely out of character for the man who created Madea.
Perry made his fortune with his very successful African American positive message films, as well as the cross-dressing Madea series. Now he is set to portray a Washington, D.C., police detective made famous in the novels by author James Patterson.
Patterson introduced the world to Alex Cross in the 1993 novel "Along Came a Spider" as a forensic psychologist and detective who works for the D.C. homicide department. Over his career throughout the books, Cross left the force to work for the FBI before leaving that job and taking on a role as special consultant for the Washington police force.
Patterson named the books in the series after fairy tale quotes, such as "Kiss the Girls" and "Roses are Red." Out of the novels, two were turned into movies with Morgan Freeman starring as Cross. "Kiss the Girls" was released in 1997 while "Along Came a Spider" hit in 2001.
With the novel "Cross," Patterson changed his theme to have all the titles feature the name of his protagonist. This eponymous novel lends the new movie its story. In the book, Cross's wife is murdered in 1993. In the present day, Cross quits the FBI to take on a private practice, eventually starting a manhunt for The Butcher, a man the detective believes killed his wife years before.
Perry started his career with Christian-themed stage plays in the '90s. He eventually took many of his plays and turned them into movies, beginning with "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" in 2005. "Diary" introduced the world to the Madea, a large, straight-talking black woman played by Perry himself.
While he has only been making movies for seven years now, Perry has directed over 20 films, combining theatrical and straight-to-DVD efforts. In 2011, Forbes named Perry the highest-paid man in entertainment, bringing in $130 million for the year.
With "Alex Cross," Perry looks to branch out. It will be interesting to see if his legions of fans follow when the story is a gruesome murder mystery.
"Alex Cross" trailer
The trailer for "Alex Cross" shows that Perry is definitely trying something new with this effort. Perry plays Cross differently than Morgan Freeman did before him, ditching Freeman's analytical approach and mannerisms to more closely play himself in the role.
Interestingly, the trailer seems to indicate that Cross's longtime partner, John Sampson, is MIA from the movie, which is a disappointment. It also looks like the film will stray from the original story -- Alex's wife is still alive in the present day scenes.
The trailer shows a lot of footage of The Butcher, an amazing looking character portrayed by "Lost" alumnus Matthew Fox. Fox spends a lot of time onscreen either shirtless or executing dangerous stunts.
The movie, directed by Rob Cohen of "The Fast and the Furious" fame, features the director's flair for car crashes and explosions, which seems slightly out of place for fans of Patterson's novels. However, the scene-stealing shots with Fox, as well as nice cameos by actors such as Edward Burns and John C. McGinley, make "Alex Cross" look like an interesting take on the story.
"Alex Cross" hits theaters on October 19. 2012.
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