Rarely does a day pass by in the modern movie news business without the word remake or reboot popping up at some point. Not all re-something projects are being dreaded rather than anticipated, but interest in the reboot I, Alex Cross diminished severely when Tyler Perry replaced Idris Elba as the titular psychologist/sleuth in the film.
The addition of supporting players like Matthew Fox and Edward Burns to the cast of the Alex Cross reboot appeared to sit much better with the masses - and the news that The Professional star Jean Reno has also signed on for the film should go over well enough too.
I, Alex Cross picks up with a younger version of the Cross character (who was previously brought to life on-screen by Morgan Freeman) as he teams up with an officer named Tommy Kane (Burns) in order to track down the vicious serial killer Michael Sullivan, a.k.a. The Butcher of Sligo (Fox). Reno's role in the film has yet to be officially revealed.
Screen Rant's own Rob Frappier previously speculated that - based on the inclusion of the Sullivan character (an iconic villain in the original Alex Cross literature) - this reboot would deviate significantly from James Patterson's novel of the same name. Specifically, it sounds as though the film will partially be based on "Cross", which flashbacks to the title character's early days on the job.
Variety echoed that thought in its report about Reno, mentioning that the I, Alex Cross script penned by Marc Moss (who also wrote the Cross flick Along Came a Spider) and relative newcomer Kerry Williamson looks to be "hardly a direct adaptation" of Patterson's original novel.
The prospect of following Freeman's foosteps and playing Cross on the big screen is an understandably intimidating one, but Elba arguably has the screen presence to make the part his own (see his recent turn in Thor for proof of that). Hence (in part) why fans were so disappointed to learn that Rob Cohen (Fast and the Furious, xXx) would instead be directing Perry in the part.
Perry has only previously tackled one role in a film that he neither wrote or directed - his brief turn as Admiral Barnett in the new Star Trek. Regardless of whether or not you're a fan of Perry's most popular role (that of the gun-packin' grandma Madea), it's difficult to argue that he seems like the perfect match for the role of Alex Cross.
On the other hand: neither Cohen or Perry have ever worked on a film like this before, so maybe (and right now, that is a big maybe) the two will surprise us all and make I, Alex Cross a memorable addition to the murder-mystery genre.
Production on I, Alex Cross is slated to begin this August, with a theatrical release date of Fall 2012 or early 2013 in mind.