Tyler Perry Lands Action Role in ‘I, Alex Cross’

The actor and filmmaker is replacing Idris Elba in the role of Alex Cross, the character from James Patterson’s bestselling novels

Tyler Perry, best known for his comic "Madea" character, has signed on to play the role of Alex Cross, a detective and psychologist in Washington, D.C., TheWrap has confirmed.

James Patterson, who wrote the bestselling novels that feature the character of Cross, 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 titled, "I, Alex Cross," and is produced by Bill Block, Paul Hanson and Leopoldo Gout, of QED International. Patterson and Steve Bowen are executive producers. "The Wire's" Idris Elba was initially set to play the role.

Earlier "Cross" movies, 2001's "Along Came a Spider" and 1997's "Kiss the Girls" featured Morgan Freeman in the title role.

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