I read writer/director/producer/actor Tyler Perry of “Madea” fame and notorious for placing his name in the titles of his films and plays scooped a leading role from Idris Elba in “I, Alex Cross.”
That is certainly interesting to say the least. I can say I have seen Elba in about a few movies and of course seen his star-making role on the HBO series “The Wire.” Perry on the other hand…the only other non-Perryverse film I saw him in was the 2009 adaptation of “Star Trek.” It was a small role with few lines and an intense stare – but effective for the bit part.
I am a little perplexed as to why an actor with a body of work restricted to playing an elderly woman was chosen over another actor who has played as an educated gangster, a blue-class worker, a bank robber, a 1970s-era gangster, a soldier and uses either a convincing American accent or his native English accent.
This writer would be interested to know why – but knowing why will not change anything. I learned the reasons of why certain actors earn certain roles are one of those things that just happened. It is not OK in my book by any standards, but it happens.
Elba is a star among the black community but not on or even close to touching a Will, Denzel, or Foxx level of success. He is on the edge and needs that iconic, star-making role – or a consecutive string of box office hits – to get there. “Takers” should be the start of the leading man success and he will find it. I do not think this year’s “Thor” will boost his profile too much as a lead man because he is supporting in that upcoming film (or it looks that way, we will see this summer).
Perry built his empire from an idea and capitalized on the theater market gaining popularity (and big receipts) in the process. The transition to films was smooth as far as success in sales goes, but his movies have been hit or miss. The hits are due to shining moments within the stories of overcoming struggles in one form or another and some key actors, including Elba in “Daddy’s Little Girls.”
The missed swings at bat attribute to the quality and presentation of the stories and by Perry as an actor. I find he is better at directing and producing. The writing and acting have left much to be desired.
Nonetheless when “I, Alex Cross” is released in 2012, we will find out if Perry has got “it” to carry a movie without the support of Mrs. Mabel Simmons.