Jean Reno boards ‘I, Alex Cross’

Reno joins Tyler Perry for James Patterson adaptation

Thesp Jean Reno is moving from one bestseller to another, as the “Da Vinci Code” star has signed on to join the cast of Summit Entertainment’s thriller “I, Alex Cross.”

As Variety first reported, Tyler Perry is set to play the title role in the James Patterson adaptation, which Rob Cohen is directing from a script by Kerry Williamson and Marc Moss.

Story finds Perry partnering with Ed Burns to take on a vicious serial killer played by Matthew Fox, his first role since ABC’s “Lost” went off the air. Reno’s character is being kept under wraps.

QED partners Bill Block and Paul Hanson are producing with Steve Bowen and Leopoldo Gout of James Patterson Entertainment.

Production is scheduled to start in August, with the studio eyeing a wide release in fall 2012 or early 2013.

“I, Alex Cross” is the 16th book in the Alex Cross series, though the film is hardly a direct adaptation, as Fox’s character, mob hitman Michael Sullivan, actually served as the villain in “Cross,” the 12th book in the series.

Reno recently starred in a trio of studio pics — Screen Gems’ “Armored,” Universal’s “Couples Retreat” and Sony’s “The Pink Panther 2.” He’ll soon be seen in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret,” which wrapped back in 2005 and is expected to be released by Fox Searchlight sometime next year now that Martin Scorsese has agreed to help Lonergan edit.

Reno is repped by ICM and Gateway Management Partners.

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