Idris Elba is the new Alex Cross: It's on!

Idris-ElbaImage Credit: Stephane Danna/AFP/Getty ImagesIdris Elba’s slow and steady rise might speed up with this news: The Wire actor has been cast as Dr. Alex Cross in a reboot of the role that Morgan Freeman originated in Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider. Deadline reports that Elba will star in David Twohy’s adaptation of James Patterson’s novel Cross, the 12th book in the series, which follows the forensic psychologist as he tries to help nab a serial rapist and mutilator (Michael Sullivan, the Butcher of Sligo) who used to work for the mob and may have killed Cross’ pregnant wife years earlier. It makes sense: Earlier this year, Elba received raves for headlining the six-part BBC One psychological thriller Luther as a detective described as “brilliant and emotionally impulsive” who “might just be as dangerous as the depraved criminals he hunts.” (It premieres on BBC America Oct. 17.) The actor, whose other film credits include Obsessed, this month’s Takers, and next year’s Thor, has also shown his range on The Office and will appear in at least four episodes of Showtime’s The Big C as a love interest for Laura Linney’s cancer-stricken (and married) character.

Was Elba your pick for the new Alex Cross? I’m happy: He can carry the weight, and bring some heat. Patterson fans, who do you see playing Michael Sullivan? (Having not read Cross, I’m wondering if Twohy’s A Perfect Getaway star Timothy Olyphant might be a fit: He deserved better than Live Free or Die Hard and Hitman.) And while I’m asking questions: Anyone else end up watching Kiss the Girls every time it’s on cable?

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  • LOL

    Great casting, he is a very funny actor, makes me laugh.

    • Shiny

      So cute and so cool in RocknRolla. Irdis Elba is an excellent choice and easy on the eyes.

      • LOL

        sorry my mistake, I thought it was Will Smith.

      • UGH

        Seeing this makes me miss The Wire.
        Best drama on television back in the day.

      • jmo

        The guy’s got great range. He kept me watching Rock n Rolla and I just saw him in The Losers. Completely different characters that he breathed life into. Hope we get to see him in more stuff.

      • Fran

        He looks pretty good to me also!!!!

    • Melissa

      I hope they get Ving Rhames to play Cross’ partner, John Sampson. I did not watch the wire, but this guy looks better than Morgan Freeman. And, I have never seen either movie because Morgan Freeman was so wrong for the casting of this part – so wrong!!

      • abby

        I totally second this choice! Ving Rhames would be great as Sampson.

      • Cheryl Van Allen

        LOVE the idea of Rhames as his partner. And freakin LOVE the idea of Timothy Olyphant – he plays a GREAT psycho!!

      • Paige

        Melissa – Nothing against Idris, great looking guy, great actor, but don’t be hating on my man, Morgan! He was wonderful as Alex Cross – you should have watched the movies (and read the books) before making comment.

      • Cross Lover

        I don’t think Ving would make a good Samson. Samson is very very tall.

      • Annette

        I agree..i’m a big fan of Alex Cross books and I just never thought Morgan Freeman was righ t for the part. I thought he was too old.

      • Deb

        I think Michael Clarke Duncan would be perfect for Sampson… I always thought Will Smith was going to be Alex… oh well.

      • Cynt

        Melissa-don’t be hating on Morgan. He was a great Dr. Cross … LOL! To each their own!

      • Jenn

        I’ve listened to a lot of the Alex Cross books and I’ve always ‘pictured’ a younger Morgan Freeman
        Michael Clarke Duncan would make a great Sampson.
        I’m not sure who I’d want to see for Michael Sullivan.
        Cross is one of my favorite books. I anxiously wait for new ones to come out.

      • cindy bojack

        Are you serious!! Morgan Freeman is and will always be Dr. Alex Cross!!!! You can put who you want to in there, but when I read my Cross books, Morgan Freeman is the man!!!

      • Tara

        I like Morgan Freeman as Cross and I don’t see Rhames as Sampson. Rhames would be a good bad guy but not Sampson. If you haven’t seen Kiss the Girls or Along Came A Spider, you should, both excellent movies.

      • Paul

        Sorry I like Morgan Freeman but he was too old for the role of Alez Cross who is too young for Freeman to be playing him. I have read the book and no I never saw freeman fitting the description.

      • Gin

        I agree. I haven’t watched the movies because Morgan Freeman, while a superb actor, is too OLD to be Alex Cross.

      • Tyler

        Ving Rhames…a great choice for Sampson, or possible Michael Clarke Duncan

      • Leslee

        I have read all of the Cross books and watched both movies and I have never thought that Morgan Freeman was the best choice to play Alex Cross. Don’t get me wrong, I love Morgan Freeman but in the books they portray him completely differently. I always thought Denzel Washington would have made an excellent Alex Cross. I was a little disappointed to hear he wasn’t doing it but I am pleased with their choice. I think he will do great!

    • Pat Kelley

      Morgan Freeman is the ONLY person that is or ever will be the correct actor to be Alex Cross. Maybe you can pose Idris Elba as a character but not Alex Cross. I do agree Deb that Michael Clarke Duncan would be great as Sampson, but NO BODY CAN take the place of Morgan Freeman. Get real!!!!!!!!!!

      • PW

        Idris Elba isn’t fit to shine Morgan Freeman’s shoes, but Alex Cross is a 6’5 former DI Bball player in his mid to late thirties who kicks ass and takes care of 3 kids. Morgan Freeman was totally the wrong choice for Cross, way too old and just not badass enough. I’m glad they’re going younger.

      • PW

        Idris Elba isn’t fit to shine Morgan Freeman’s shoes, but Alex Cross is a 6’5 former DI Bball player in his mid to late thirties who kicks ass and takes care of 3 kids. Morgan Freeman was totally the wrong choice for Cross, way too old and just not badass enough. I’m glad they’re going younger, its more true to the books.

      • RN42424

        I have to say that Morgan Freeman is and always will be Alex Cross. When I read the books, I hear his voice in my head. I picture the scenarios and he is always in the picture. Idris Elba is hot and I think he will be good for the part but no one can be Alex like Morgan Freeman!!!

    • judy

      I am a big fan of Morgan Freeman, however I was surprised to see him in the firstmovie, because he did not fit the description in the book of Alex. But he did the part justice as he always has. I like Will Smith and Densel, both I think would fit the part well. I do like the looks of the guy selected and I am sure he will do the part justice.

  • slyg1

    Great choice from an acting standpoint..Will Smith is a better choice visually because Alex Cross looks like a young Muhamed Ali and since Wil played Ali…But I am happy

    • KRG

      I really wanted Idris Elba as the first Black James Bond..but if he is Alex Cross, that rocks too!

      • gigi

        I could totally see him as Bond too! I’m glad to see quality roles coming his way. Denzel…Will…there’s a new leading man in town!

      • Mr. Williams

        LATE BREAKING NEWS!!! The fictional Spy Killer created by Ian Fleming IS A WHITE MALE. The very thought of a Black Actor portraying James Bond is A TOTAL VIOLATION. Have you ever heard of White Actors portraying Black Characters real or fictional??? NOPE!!! Granted, the multitalented Mr. Idris Elba could indeed portray another Double O Agent within MI.6 – but DEFINATELY not Bond. Black Actors SHOULD NEVER, EVER portray White Characters – fictional or real. Can I get an AMEN!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! This is more breaking news . . . George Clooney has signed on to portray Dr. Martin L. King in Spike Lee’s HBO Mini-Series: “King’s Dream has Failed”. . . HEH!

      • Tiff

        I am the biggest Idris fan and I am so looking forward to great movie roles for him but I do agree they should not give him the role of James Bond which is an established white British male role but what they should do is spin off a character for Idris in the next bond film and give him his own character, 009 maybe!!! He is sooooooooo sexy!!!

      • Cynt

        Mr. Williams-White actors/actress have always portrayed Black roles … Charleston Heston as Moses, Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra? So what would be so shocking that a Black man would portray an white character. And BTW its wasn’t George Clooney its Brad Pitt!

      • laydeejo

        Idria Elba as James Bond, what a vision of sexiness. After all they did switch to a blond version with Daniel Craig.

    • tinaw

      I agree. I’ve always wanted Will Smith to play the role, given the description in the books, but I think Idris Elba is a good choice. I think he’ll do a good job in the part.

      • Pat

        I beg to differ with a white actor/actress playing a black character. Cleopatra is a very good example of this. They have always used white actresses to play her. More recently Ms. Jolie?

    • Brett

      Will Smith looked nothing like Ali. This argument fails.

      • sandra

        I have to disagree, he DID look like a young Ali,which one did you see?????

    • Anna

      Chiwetel Ejiofor would have been a great choice, but I am happy for Idris Elba.

      • Almond

        Chiwetel Ejiofor!! I love he and Idris equally. Both great actors with great range.

      • laydeejo

        Not even. Idris Elba is purrrfect for this part. He’s tall, he’s fierce, and he can fight if need be. I still do love Morgan Freeman, especially when he smiles and you see those dimples.

    • Sally n Chicago

      Isn’t it time for Morgan to step aside for the younger brothers?

  • Curves

    Great Choice !!! .. Ive read all the Cross books and I think he will do well in the role .

    • Jethro

      Did Ali Larter get wind of this yet? ha ha!!

      • Stef

        Haha all I can picture is her in her underwear in his car with that CRAZY look on her face!

    • Lee

      As much as I hate to say it, I think Don Cheadle would have been a better choice, but I think he’ll do ok.

      • laydeejo

        Don Cheadle is to short. Nothing against him, but I just can’t see it.

  • Anu

    Idris Elba’s an amazing actor, he’ll be great as Alex Cross.

    I own Kiss the Girls on DVD but still end up watching it whenever it’s on cable. Great film.

  • Ceballos

    I didn’t even know that I wanted an Alex Cross reboot, but if it gives Elba a quality leading role -as opposed to supporting roles in junk like “Takers” and “The Losers” (which I actually enjoyed, but it was a waste of Elba) – then I’m definitely on board.

    This guy has the goods to be a MAJOR star.

    • A-K87


      Totally agree with everything you have said! He was phenomenal in The Wire and when you see him in interviews, you can see how well he transformed himself for that role.

      Now its just for Dominic West (Det. Jimmy McNulty) to start making it big!!

      • Reena

        Aww I miss McNulty but agreed on the Elba getting this role too bad no more wire Stringer was my favortie and sooo nice to look at!

    • we

      he is an ass in person but a very good actor

  • tickles

    I think Idris will go great. I love Morgan Freeman but I must admit I never quite bought him as the Alex Cross I know from the books.
    Alex Cross was supposed to be a very good looking, well built man in his early 40s. Morgan was just a little too old to pull that one off. Also, they kind of made Sampson to be a doofus in the movies but he is also movie star good looking as well as built like a brick house. Alex has an affair with Kate in the book Kiss The Girls as well as a very torrid relationship with Jazzy from Along Came A Spider.
    I named by son Alexander because of Alex Cross and from the character of Alex Delaware in the series of books written by Johnathan Kellerman.

    • Alexmom22

      Kellerman’s Alex and Patterson’s Alex are both fantastic. Great name choice for a son BTW!

    • Lee

      For Sampson, how about the guy that played “Goggles” in “Sugarhill”? He’s huge AND has the acting range for the part.

    • Sally n Chicago

      It’s time for Morgan to retire.

    • Stacy

      I agree that Morgan was too old for the part. I always thought Denzel should have played Alex Cross. That would have made for a hot movie, and all the books probably would have been made into movies!

      • Pat

        I have to agree, I thought Denzel would have made a great Alex cross and Frankie Faison who was also on the wire with Idris, would make a great Samson. But I guess we have to give whomever they choose a chance to show us their chops!

      • laydeejo

        Denzel Washington would have made a superb Alex Cross. Who else got a swagger like him? And talk about easy on the eyes. And we know he can kick butt,or haven’t you seen him in The Book of Eli.

    • Angie

      I agree I couldn’t relate to Morgan as Cross. Too old. I am not familiar with this new actor for the part.
      But from all the comments I think he will fit the bill.. Looking forward to seeing him in the part.

  • Henry

    Woo hoo! Finally! Some casting news worthy of mention.

  • the girl

    Love Idris Elba. Please tell me the storyline will create some reason for him to be shirtless and/or in the shower. Because if so I will buy my tickets in advance.

  • sutherngurl

    WHIZATTT! That is awesome!

    • Dusty

      Why are they skipping books 3-11? Jack and Jill should be next!

      • Cross Fan

        My thoughts exactly. Enough material to keep everyone involved employed for a while. Alex Cross fans would surely support! Even combine some of the earlier books. But this is an “adaptation.”

      • Jessica

        I completely agree. I hate it when they jumps books like that. There are things in the earlier books that need to be said first.

  • jerzeegirl

    Thank you, thank you, thank you… Morgan Freeman is great but anyone who’s read a James Patterson book knows Alex Cross is a much younger man than Freeman. Idris is… yummy. LOL Good for him!!

  • Mimi

    Great choice. I loved Morgan in the other two movies, but I always thought he was a little too old. He would be way too old now. I loved the book so I hope the movie can live up to it.

  • Mandy

    I have never seen the first two Cross movies, but Idris Elba is a real talent and so I would likely watch this new film. If they add in Timothy Olyphant, I am sooo there. I would watch him in anything. (PS, Hitman was awesome)

    • A-K87

      Mandy, you should watch Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider they are two of those rare thrillers you can watch over and over again.

      • Brett

        Never seen them; not a big Ashley Judd fan.

  • Tha Phoenix

    Love this news and Idris is a suitable replacement for the iconic Morgan Freeman.

  • Josh

    So stoked, great actor and great book series.

  • Jamie

    He’s perfect! I’ve always had a hard time equating the book’s Cross with Morgan Freeman…nice casting.

    • robin

      i thought for sure it would be denzel

      • Noel

        @Mr. Williams….Cleopatra Jones was black in real life but plenty of white actresses played her. So why is it so wrong that a black actor/actress portray a white character?

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