Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In his first major film role since leaving Lost, Matthew Fox has signed on to play an assassin in I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise character that’s being put together by QED with Tyler Perry starring and Rob Cohen directing. Ed Burns has also signed on to play Tommy Kane, Cross’s partner. At least three studios are vying for the project and a domestic distribution deal will be set imminently.

Contrary to his virtuous Lost character Jack Shepard, Fox will be playing one bad dude in this film. Fox plays Michael Sullivan, who kills both for money and thrills. He’s known as the Butcher of Sligo and shows why after Cross thwarts one of his killing attempts. Sullivan makes his retribution personal, by killing the  detective’s wife in gruesome fashion. Then it becomes a mano a mano battle between them. Sullivan is one of the best known villains  in the Patterson-penned novel series.

Marc Moss wrote the script and he and Cohen have generated a new draft that has some twists different from the novel. QED partners Bill Block and Paul Hanson are producing. WME put the package together.

The reboot of the Alex Cross series took root in late January, with Perry taking the role originated by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider. Those films were made at Paramount.

For all of Deadline's headlines, follow us @Deadline on Twitter.