Along Came a Spider is a 2001 American mystery film directed by Lee Tamahori. The screenplay by Marc Moss was adapted from the 1993 novel of the same title by James Patterson, but many of the key plot elements of the book were eliminated. Along Came a Spider was the first book in Patterson's Alex Cross series, although the second one to be filmed, following Kiss the Girls in 1997.
After Washington, D.C. detective, forensic psychologist, and author Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) loses control of a sting operation, resulting in the death of his partner, he opts to retire from the force. He finds himself drawn back to police work when Megan Rose (Mika Boorem), the daughter of a United States senator, is kidnapped from her exclusive private school by computer science teacher Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott). U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), held responsible for the breach in security, joins forces with Cross to find the missing girl.
Soneji contacts Cross by phone and alerts him to the fact one of Megan's sneakers is in the detective's mailbox, proving he's the kidnapper. Cross deduces the man is obsessed with the 1932 Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. kidnapping and hopes to become as infamous as Bruno Hauptmann by committing a new "Crime of the Century" that might be discussed by Cross in one of his true crime books. Megan's kidnapping proves to be only part of Soneji's real plan: to kidnap the son of the Russian president, Dimitri Starodubov (Anton Yelchin), guaranteeing himself greater infamy.
After Cross and Flannigan foil his second kidnapping plot, a supposed call from the kidnapper demands that Cross deliver a ransom of $10 million in diamonds by following an intricate maze of calls made to public phone booths scattered throughout the city. Cross ultimately tosses the gems out the window of a rapidly moving Metro train to a figure standing by the tracks. When Soneji later arrives at Flannigan's home and confronts Cross after disabling Jezzie with a taser, the detective realizes the kidnapper is unaware of the ransom demand and delivery. Soneji tries to leave with Flannigan but Cross kills him.
Cross becomes suspicious and realizes that someone discovered Soneji long before his plot came to fruition. After searching Flannigan's home computer, he finds enough evidence to prove that Jezzie and her fellow Secret Service agent, Ben Devine (Billy Burke), used Soneji as a pawn in their own plot. He tracks them down to a secluded farmhouse where Flannigan has murdered Devine and is now intent on eliminating Megan Rose. Cross saves Megan and shoots Flannigan in the heart, killing her.
- Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross
- Monica Potter as Jezzie Flannigan
- Michael Wincott as Gary Soneji/The Spider
- Dylan Baker as Ollie McArthur
- Mika Boorem as Megan Rose
- Billy Burke as Ben Devine
- Anton Yelchin as Dimitri Starodubov
- Jay O. Sanders as Kyle Craig
- Michael Moriarty as Senator Hank Rose
- Penelope Ann Miller as Elizabeth Rose
- Anna Maria Horsford as Vickie