Fans of James Patterson's famous homicide detective character, Dr. Alex Cross, were originally ecstatic to hear that fan-fave Idris Elba was going to follow in the footsteps of Morgan Freeman - and portray the character onscreen, in a series start-over/reboot titled Alex Cross.
That was before Elba passed on the role - and was eventually replaced by Tyler Perry, prompting a general response of... well, the opposite of ecstatic.
A trailer for Alex Cross is due out in the near future, as the film is slated to hit theaters this fall. However, in the meantime, we can offer the first images of Perry as Dr. Cross - wielding a goatee, badge, and shotgun, among other accessories - alongside costars like Rachel Nichols (Criminal Minds) and Edward Burns (Saving Private Ryan) as Cross' fellow Detroit detectives, Monica Ashe and Tommy Kane, respectively.
However, if there's anyone here who leaves an impression, it's Matthew Fox as Picasso - the film's antagonist, who is based on Cross' famous foe Michael Sullivan (a.k.a. the Butcher of Sligo) from Patterson's source material. Not only has the Lost alum gone all out on the physical transformation aspect of the part - he's just flat-out freakishly ripped, as you can see below (click any thumbnail for the larger version):
For all the moaning about Perry being cast as Cross, the actor/filmmaker looks the part well enough - and, frankly, if Perry throws himself headfirst into this new role - like he does when playing Madea - then this new version of Alex Cross could be a fitting mix of both brains and brawn, more along the lines of Patterson's original creation. (Morgan Freeman, bless him, was always a bit lacking in the latter area.)
Moreover, the Alex Cross cast also includes beloved character actors like Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), John C. McGinley (Scrubs), and Jean Reno (Leon: The Professional). So, as far as the acting side of things is concerned, this film actually seems to be in pretty good shape.
That brings us to the Alex Cross personnel who do present more reason for concern: director Rob Cohen (Fast and the Furious, xXx, Stealth) - along with co-writers Marc Moss (Along Came a Spider) and Kerry Williamson (a newcomer), who are partially adapting Patterson's "I, Alex Cross" novel. That trio's involvement points to this being a more action-packed Cross movie - but will it also be a good one?
We will find out for certain when Alex Cross hits theaters around the U.S. on October 26th, 2012. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for a trailer to pop up online in the foreseeable future.