Tyler Perry plays Crusading Detective/Psychologist Alex Cross meets his match when he goes against the psychotic, mob hit man, Michael “The Butcher” Sullivan (Matthew Fox). As Cross investigates the hit man’s gruesome murders, Cross vows to hunt down the killer if it’s the last thing he does. However, Sullivan is a mastermind and continues to evade Cross while pushing him to an ethical breaking point as a cop and a father. As Cross closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable—a revelation that could change everything and a role previously held by Morgan Freeman in “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider.
“I am sure a lot of people were confounded when they heard Tyler was doing this character after Morgan Freeman did the role in earlier movies,” says director Rob Cohen. “Tyler usually sticks to his own productions but if you read Jim’s books, the character is a 40-year-old guy who is a big and physical; that’s Tyler. He’s truer to the Patterson character from the books than what was previously done on screen with Morgan.”
For his part, Perry admits to a little bit of trepidation stepping into the role. “Knowing that Morgan Freeman had done this role was very, very intimidating but also thrilling to know I took on something that Morgan said yes to,” says Perry.
“Tyler is physically perfect,” says Patterson. “And he’s going to blow people’s minds how good he is in a dramatic role because people have seen him do comedy and a little bit of drama but nothing like this.”
“Jim knew that this movie was important because it’s the origin story of the character. Since he created the character nearly 20 years ago, television is now chock full of procedural investigations that are ‘walk-and-talks’ so we had to take this to another level,” says producer Bill Block.
“It’s more of a man-hunt movie,” says producer Paul Hanson, “and from a visual standpoint, there are locations that would be nearly impossible to recreate which adds to the cinematic experience. But to create that experience we needed someone who could envision things we couldn’t imagine and we got pretty lucky that Rob Cohen said yes.”
Cohen saw the potential in the script but realized that the Cross character had to be re-imagined from the books as well as the two movies (Along Came a Spider, Kiss The Girls). While the director, renowned for his direction of numerous action-oriented movies, realized that the cinematic experience he wanted to create could only truly come alive with some out-of-the-box casting.
Cohen met Perry in 2010 when he saw the actor in the stage production of “Madea’s Family Reunion.”
“I wanted to see what the Tyler Perry phenomenon was all about and after the show when we met I was amazed at how big he was and I told him, ‘You could be an action movie star’ and he sort of laughed and said ‘well, maybe we’ll work something out.’” says Cohen.
“Then, as luck would have it, Bill Block called me about this movie and wants to know what I thought about Tyler playing Cross and I told Bill that with his acting chops, his physical size and commanding voice that Tyler doing the role is a great idea.” Those qualities that Perry possesses are exactly what Patterson envisioned when he created the character of Cross nearly 20 years ago.
“Morgan is a great actor. But Tyler is much closer to the Alex Cross in books, physically and age-wise, in terms of his ability to do action,” says Patterson. Perry had to undergo some rigorous training in the self-defense art of KravMagra used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies. “I trained about three times a week and it’s the most ass-kicking workout I’ve ever experienced,” says Perry.
Perry also went on ride-alongs with Atlanta homicide policeman to get some first-hand experience and from the movie’s armorer Darcy Leutzinger, learned how to handle weapons.
With unstoppable action, and unforeseeable twists, this suspenseful action thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.
“ALEX CROSS” is released and distributed by Solar Entertainment Corporation.
Showing on October 17, 2012 in Philippine cinemas.