There's been a whole lot of conversation about Tyler Perry being chosen to play detective Alex Cross, the popular detective featured in James Patterson's series of best-selling novels. Last year, Idris Elba was tapped for the role, but now he's out. Enter the Perry haters and critics! While they do that, I'm going to weigh in on the subject too. Why? Cause I can! That's what a blog is for, dang it!
Many of us may remember Morgan Freeman originally in the role in "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came A The Spider". Those films were LONG ago, and now Freeman is too old for what the producers and the audience wants too most likely. Read some of what producer Bill Block says about Tyler Perry in an article from Entertainment Weekly:
"Tyler Perry is one of the most significant entertainers in all of media. He is a huge cross-media talent and presence — and he’s a terrific actor whose range is going to be shown here. You’re going to see Tyler Perry like you haven’t seen him."
That's a glowing review of Perry's potential, but the article won't reveal why Elba is no longer in the role. So here's my three cents! And yes, just like the cost of gas, the price of my opinion has gone up! Lol. What people seem to forget is that Hollywood is all about image and branding. Elba just played a similar role as a detective in the BBC's "Luther" which I suspect will be returning thanks to the great audience and industry response. That said, he can't be Luther and Alex Cross!
Not to mention, Elba has an Executive Producer credit for "Luther," something of which I'm sure he did not get for "I, Alexander Cross." But some may argue doing the major studio film is better for his career than a television series. Weeelllll, not necessarily! Would you rather have your own multi-award winning series as an Executive Producer and actor that's already broadcast internationally or merely be a hired talent in a major movie where you have less control, if any?
Speaking of control, knowing Perry as well as I don't, I'm sure he'd like the opportunity to just act. In the church of Tyler Perry, he generally plays all the major roles--organist, pastor, deacon, trustee, choir director, the usher, the amen corner, and even first lady. Wouldn't it be nice just to show up and not have to worry about the entire production for a while?
In addition, Perry like any actor also knows too much of a good role makes one typecasted in this business of show. Just ask Jaleel White, Jenifer Lewis, or Martin Lawrence! Side note: Notice Lawrence is back in his Grannie panties for "Big Mamma's House 3". I digress...now back to Perry.
Perry himself has been quite public about wanting to step away from the role of Madea. But many of his loyal fans and critics too seem to want him to stay in that closet...no pun intended, I promise. Yes, Madea has made him millions, but why not allow the actor to truly come forth in other roles?
Think like a producer and ask what other black actor has a following as big as Perry's and with consistent success at the box office? Denzel, Will...who else you got? Obviously they either were not offered the role or turned it down.
I'm curious to see what Tyler can do when he's not controlling every aspect of the production, and some of his haters are too. Truly, in Hollywood if no one is talking about you, then you're like that tree in the forest that no one heard fall...no one knew you even existed.