Tyler Perry to play detective Alex Cross

February 1st, 2011

Tyler Perry is to portray detective Alex Cross in a new movie.

The 41-year-old star will play the popular James Patterson fictional character - the first major role he has taken that doesn't involve one of his own projects - in a Rob Cohen-directed film, which will be the third big screen outing for the psychologist-investigator.

Morgan Freeman previously portrayed Alex - the subject of 17 novels since 1993 - in two films, while 'The Wire' actor Idris Elba was attached in a David Twohy-directed independent movie, though that project appears to have been shelved.

Writer James has penned the script with Kerry Williamson, while Marc Moss is polishing the draft.

The film - which is provisionally titled 'I, Alex Cross' - doesn't have distribution yet, but world rights to the project will be sold in a few weeks at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Rob last directed 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' in 2006.

The character of Alex Cross was previously seen in 1997's 'Kiss the Girls' and again in 2001's 'Along Came a Spider'.