Rachel Abramowitz at the Los Angeles Times reports Angelina Jolie’s desire to play Kay Scarpetta, the medical examiner in 17 mystery novels written by best-selling author Patricia Cornwell, may be the catalyst into getting a film franchise off the ground. While upwards of $10 million has been spent in development of such an opportunity at other studios with the likes of Demi Moore and Kristin Scott Thomas and directors Joel Schumacher and Antonia Bird involved, it’s been Jolie’s drive that has kept the prospect alive.
Word is, Jolie’s interest could spawn a movie franchise that could begin shooting as early as Fall 2011. Instead of using one of Cornwell’s novels as the source the plan is to merely use the attributes of the character as Fox 2000 has decided to jettison the books in favor of an origins story written directly for the screen. Set in the present day (as opposed to the late 1980s, when the series begins), the film will feature a distinctly younger Scarpetta in the years before she becomes the steely, unassailable expert pathologist she is today.
First time feature writer, Kerry Williamson has written the screenplay and told the Los Angeles Times, “There’s almost like this brewing passion in her, and intensity and sexuality that she doesn’t feel comfortable unleashing. In the books, she’s further along as a character, at the height of her career. In the screenplay, we bring her back to a time before that, when she’s just charting her course, and trying to break the glass ceiling. She sees what society might consider her female traits — intuition, compassion, instinct — as a weakness in the real world. Yet that is where her power lies. Her evolution is into accepting that.”
Jolie’s involvement was first reported back in April 2009 in the pages of Variety, but the most detailed account of the genesis of the project can be found in this new piece at the Los Angeles Times.
Angelina Jolie will next be seen in the action-thriller Salt on July 23rd, followed by The Tourist with Johnny Depp and then she is also expected to reprise her role as Fox in Wanted 2. I guess that means we can look forward to possibly seeing a Scarpetta picture some time in 2012 or so?