Summit Gets Rights to ‘I, Alex Cross’

The movie, starring Tyler Perry, is based on James Patterson’s bestselling novel

Last Updated: March 24, 2011 @ 6:45 PM

Summit Entertainment will be the U.S. distributor for the newest installation of the "Alex Cross" movies, based on the bestselling James Patterson novels, TheWrap has confirmed.

Tyler Perry plays the title role, the Washington, D.C., detective and psychologist Alex Cross. The gritty role is a departure for Perry, who is best known for his comic "Madea" character.

"The Wire's" Idris Elba initially was set to play Cross.

Matthew Fox plays the villain Michael Sullivan in the movie, titled, "I, Alex Cross."

The Cross character appeared in two Paramount films starring Morgan Freeman, "Kiss the Girls" (1997) and "Along Came a Spider"(2001). The two films brought in more than $165 million worldwide.

After its success with the Twilight Saga, which is due to wrap up in 2012, Summit clearly is on the hunt for other properties with franchise potential.

Patterson wrote the first draft of the script with Kerry Williamson. Marc Moss is working on the script.

In the movie, Cross tracks the rapist who may have murdered his pregnant wife years earlier.

The film is produced by Bill Block, Paul Hanson and Leopoldo Gout, of QED International. Patterson and Steve Bowen are executive producers. Rob Cohen directs.

Filming is scheduled to begin in June. no release date has been set.

Deadline originally reported the story.