Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tyler Perry's new Cross to bear

There is already much debate online as to the decision to cast actor-filmmaker Tyler Perry as detective Alex Cross in the next feature film adaptation of one of James Patterson's novels. Perry would be filling the gumshoes left by Morgan Freeman, whom one must assume won't be available whilst filming "The Dark Knight Rises", which is due next year, but the selection of Perry by director Rob Cohen ("The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor") has raised eyebrows. Reading the report on Yahoo! and the subsequent feedback, there are folks already raising the prospect of Denzel Washington instead of Perry.

Look, cut them some slack, ok?

Perry is well known for his "Madea" series of urban comedy-dramas, with another due later this year, and has 2 sitcoms on cable (House of Payne & Meet the Browns, both also airing in syndication as well as on TBS). It's been 18 years since Freeman first played Alex Cross in "Along Came a Spider", and the understandable rationale is that the producers want someone younger. Perry's willing to take the risk and try to prove himself capable of acting in a production not of his own making. I get that he wants to raise his profile and avoid being typecast. I applaud the initiative. Now, let's see what happens.

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