”Why would Ashley Judd be in it?” asks Freeman, who reprises his role as author James Patterson’s hero Det. Alex Cross. ”It’s not about her character.” This time, Cross’ female partner is Secret Service agent Potter (”Patch Adams”), who helps investigate the case of a congressman’s kidnapped daughter. But Potter isn’t the only difference between ”Spider” and its predecessor. ”The first movie was heavily accented on style,” says Tamahori (”The Edge”). ”I tried to avoid what is becoming a cliché in the serial killer genre, which is to make everything look like a David Fincher movie.” Still, he didn’t count on having to reassemble the cast months after wrapping to reshoot the ending.
”There is a character that drops out, to the great detriment of the story,” explains Tamahori, careful not to reveal too much. ”In reshooting the ending, we were able to bring the character back in a majorly dynamic way.” Though Freeman, who also served as executive producer, disagreed with the reshoot, he didn’t flex the extra muscle that his title suggests. ”It doesn’t change anything,” he says. ”Did you see ‘State and Main’? There’s a point in there when they say, ‘Give me an associate producer credit.’ That isn’t a satire. It’s right on the money.”