The Doctor Detective is headed to the small screen!
James Patterson’s bestselling crime and mystery series Alex Cross has become a famous work of art since its introduction in 1993. The series has thirty books, two novellas, and three books centered on Alex’s son Ali. Despite its wild success, the adaptation for the screen has been lackluster. Morgan Freeman starred in Along Came a Spider (2001) and Kiss the Girls (1997), yielding poor results, and the 2012 reboot Cross was unsuccessful at the box office.
Now everyone's favorite Washington D.C. detective is headed to the small screen. With the studio responsible for modern crime-fighting shows such as Reacher behind the wheel, this character can finally be given what he deserves. This new medium will give the characters time to grow. Here is everything you need to know about Cross.
The series is currently being produced with Amazon Studios, which brought us other book adaptations such as Reacher and Jack Ryan. With Amazon Studios backing the series, that means it will air exclusively on Prime Video. The studio has done a fantastic job with these other series, and hopefully, these skills are transferable to Cross.
Although Cross has been developing with input from the author James Patterson and executive producer and showrunner Ben Watkins (Burn Notice) for the last two years, the series has finally begun production. With filling starting in January 2023, we must wait for an official release date. If things go as scheduled, the series might debut by the end of 2023 or yearly 2024.
Aldis Hodge (Black Adam) will play the titular Alex Cross. Hodge follows in the footsteps of Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) and Tyler Perry (Writer for the Madea film series), the previous two Alex Cross actors. Filling out the cast are Ryan Eggold (Ed Ramsey), Isaiah Mustafa (John Sampson), Alona Tal (Kayla Craig), Johnny Ray Gill (Bobby Trey), Eloise Mumford (Shannon Witmer), Siobhan Murphy (Tania Hightower), Sharon Taylor (Lt. Oracene Massey), and Stacie Greenwell (Dect. Shawna De Lackner).
Hodge also serves as a producer on the film and talks about casting, saying,
Our character development is pretty well-established at this point already. At this point, it’s mostly the casting and the regular producorial things of getting the looks down, costume, hair, all that kind of stuff. Really, the primary thing in this stage for us is casting.
It has already been revealed that creator James Patterson will actively develop the series. One of the most common critiques from fans of the other Alex Cross adaptations was that the movies moved too far away and took too many liberties from the source material. Patterson's involvement will curb some of those patterns, but you still need to expect the TV series and book to differ. The producers for the series include Bill Robinson (James Patterson's Murder Is Forever), Patrick Santa (Help Me Rhonda), David Ellison (Foundation), Dana Goldberg (Top Gun: Maverick), and Bill Bost (Reacher). Additional executive producers are Sam Ernst (Daredevil), Jim Dunn (Haven), and Craig Siebels (Burn Notice).
This group of producers is uniquely qualified to work on this project. Most have worked on other crime and mystery-themed TV series, and many are working on similar projects. Vernon Sanders, the head of global television at Amazon Studios, stated:
James Patterson is among the best at captivating audiences with his undeniably enthralling novels. We are confident that with Ben Watkins’ artistic vision, Cross will do the same for our global customers. We are proud to work with James and Ben alongside Paramount Television, Skydance, and the extremely talented Aldis Hodge, who we know will do an exceptional job of bringing Alex Cross to life. Alex Cross will be added to the collection and collaboration between Amazon, Paramount Television Studios, and Skydance Television.
For fans of the series, this is one of the critical questions that people would like to know and would give substantial insight into what we can expect to see in the series. While author James Patterson is working with the production, much hasn’t been released regarding the source material.
The first book in the series is Along Came a Spider. The book came out in 1993 and covered the teacher kidnappings of Maggie Rose Dunne and Michael Goldberg. That book includes a split personality and a seemingly unconnected murder, which would certainly be enough to entertain any audience. A film of the same name already covered this book, so the series may choose to start in another place.
The second most likely place for the series to start is Cross. While the 2012 movie has also covered this book, it has a lot of links to Alex Cross’s past as he investigates a serial rapist at Georgetown at the request of his now-former partner, John Sampson. Both books have logical reasons for audience appeal and a continuing storyline for the series to build on, but at this point, it is just speculation.
Amazon Studios are advertising the series as a “complex, twisted, and pulse-pounding thriller.” As Alex Cross is both a detective and a forensic psychologist, the show can be expected to delve deep into the psychological state of the villains. In the series, Alex Cross often has profound and involved relationships with his villains. Part of this is his unique knack for understanding sociopaths, and the other part is the personal connection to crime after the assassination of his late wife, Maria. The series is expected to balance both the investigatory side of Alex Cross and a few more action elements. The near-obsessive Alex Cross will likely be motivated by losing his wife, but that quest for vengeance has been known to get him into trouble.
Ethan Arbuckle is a freelance writer for Collider. Currently, he is pursuing his master’s degree in Communication at Abilene Christain University. He is happily married and soon will be adding a new member to his family. When he isn’t studying or writing he is a nerd at heart who loves all things Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and can occasionally make room for DC.