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Stringer Bell Out, Madea In For 'Cross'; Rob Cohen Will Take Over Directing Duties From David Twohy

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 1, 2011 at 3:17AM

Tyler Perry Is Also The Real Black SwanDr. Alex Cross, the character created by James Patterson in his best-selling books, is no stranger to the big screen. In 1997 and 2001, Morgan Freeman played the role of the crime busting psychologist in "Kiss The Girls" and "Along Came A Spider" and now the franchise (of sorts) is getting a reboot and moving in some interesting directions.
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Tyler Perry Is Also The Real Black Swan



Dr. Alex Cross, the character created by James Patterson in his best-selling books, is no stranger to the big screen. In 1997 and 2001, Morgan Freeman played the role of the crime busting psychologist in "Kiss The Girls" and "Along Came A Spider" and now the franchise (of sorts) is getting a reboot and moving in some interesting directions.

Last summer it was revealed that Idris Elba was being lined up for the role in an adaptation of Patterson's recently published "I, Alex Cross" with David Twohy ("Pitch Black," "A Perfect Getaway") directing. However, it now seems that the project is moving in a much more mainstream direction. Deadline reports that Tyler Perry is taking a rare gig outside of the films he writes, directs, produces and stars in himself to take the lead (in what could be a trilogy of Dr. Alex Cross-based films) and that Rob Cohen ("xXx," "The Fast And The Furious") is lined up to helm.

Say what you will about Twohy, but at least he's a director that has proven to have a least a discernable style and some ability to deliver thrills. As for Cohen, he's pretty much a hack and with Perry -- who's pretty much unproven outside his own work -- the project is as much of a gamble as it was with Elba/Twohy to grab mainstream auds, with a considerable downgrade in quality. Paramount must at least think so as they're looking to unload the film to any interested studio. At any rate, here's what will be in store in "I, Alex Cross" which likely still has the script penned by Kevin Williamson; courtesy of Amazon:

Can Alex Cross survive his most chilling - and personal - case ever? Pulled out of a family celebration, Detective Alex Cross gets awful news: A beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Vowing to catch the killer, he quickly learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington, D.C.'s wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim . . .

The hunt for the murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Soon they confront some very important, very protected, and very dangerous people who will do anything to keep their secrets safe. As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable - a revelation that could rock the entire world.

And while we may not be no big fans of Perry, we do recognize amazing marketing when we see it and he have to give him full props for the "Black Swan" riffing poster for his forthcoming "Madea's Big Happy Family" as unveiled by HitFix -- it's beyond words and totally great. That film opens on April 22nd. Can you take this guy seriously as a crime busting psychologist? Yeah, us neither.

This article is related to: Films, Tyler Perry, Rob Cohen, I, Alex Cross