James Patterson Books Turned Into Movies, Ranked

By Rick Gonzales | Published

James Patterson

Author James Patterson doesn’t mince words when he talks about what he thinks of Hollywood’s attempts at turning his novels into films. “The Hollywood adaptations of my books suck,” Patterson laments. Not the ringing endorsement Hollywood thought they might get when Patterson’s works were turned into movies.

Let’s take a look at five James Patterson novels that Hollywood turned into films. It might surprise you that given the level of talent included in some of these films, they didn’t fare any better with critics or at the box office.

James Patterson’s Novels Turned into Movies

5. Alex Cross (2012)


Believe it or not, before Tyler Perry was selected to star as the new Alex Cross, author James Patterson had met with Idris Elba who was his first choice to play Cross.

Unfortunately, the movie’s producers wanted a bigger American name and Perry is what they came up with. The film was intended to be a reboot but was so poorly received, that plan was nixed.

Here, Cross is back duking it out with an immensely skilled hired killer called Picasso, who loves nothing more than dolling out torture and pain.

4. Maximum Ride (2016)

James Patterson


Not only is James Patterson known for his suspense thriller novels, but he is also known for his venture into the young adult genre as well. His Maximum Ride novels comprise 11 books.

The film, Maximum Ride covers the first half of Patterson’s book, The Angel Experiment. Apparently, this first film was to be just one of many that Hollywood was hoping to turn into a franchise.

This science fiction story follows a group of winged kids who enact a rescue plan when one of their own is kidnapped by the wolf boys and returned to the place that created them all. Although the kids could fly, the film didn’t.

3. The Postcard Killings (2020)

James Patterson


The Postcard Killings is one of the latest of James Patterson’s novels to hit the big screen to very little fanfare. The film stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who appears much as he does as Negan in The Walking Dead and Famke Janssen of X-Men fame.

Morgan plays a New York detective who investigates the murder of his daughter and her husband while they were on honeymoon in London. While investigating, he discovers there are many other couples throughout Europe who have suffered the same fate as his daughter.

2. Along Came a Spider (2001)

James Patterson


Along Came a Spider is Morgan Freeman’s second go-around as James Patterson’s Alex Cross. This time after the death of his partner, Cross retires from the force.

He is brought back into it, though, when the daughter of a U.S. Senator is kidnapped by “The Spider.” This is a man who is looking to make a bigger name of himself than Bruno Hauptmann, the man who kidnapped and murdered the 20-month-old son of Charles Lindbergh in what is known as the “Crime of the Century.”

The film ended up being a modest box office success even though major plot points from the novel were removed from the film. Monica Potter and Michael Wincott joined Freeman.

1. Kiss the Girls (1997) – 4.90

James Patterson


Kiss the Girls is a 1997 film that is based on James Patterson’s novel of the same name. The film stars Morgan Freeman for the first time as Patterson’s well-known detective, Alex Cross.

In this one, Cross teams up with Dr. Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd), a woman who was kidnapped by the insane killer known as Casanova, and who has escaped from his deadly clutches. Together, Cross and McTiernan try to bring him to justice.

Cary Elwes and Tony Goldwyn also star in a film that just doesn’t live up to the hype of Patterson’s novel.