It’s getting to be that time of the year where I’ll be in and out of airports, which means I’ll soon be overlooking row after row of Patricia Cornwell novels while I look for something interesting to read. She’s written what feels like a couple dozen books featuring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta (there are actually 16) and those books could all soon be re-branded with a big photo of Angelina Jolie’s airbrushed puss.
Scarpetta is a Southern medial examiner who tends to dig around in the corpses of murder victims before solving their crimes. But she’s also got feelings. As Wikipedia recaps, “Scarpetta also drives a new Mercedes which she replaces often: in one case, after Lucy wrecks it; in another, because a morgue assistant Scarpetta had worked with had been shot dead near it—not in it—while on a mission for Scarpetta. She can’t bear to drive it after his death.”
Jolie is the latest in a chain of several potential Scarpetta actresses. (After meeting Demi Moore about the role in 1991, Cornwell wrecked her car and was arrested for drunk driving.) Fox 2000 is now the studio, after a few tries to get a Scarpetta picture going at Columbia didn’t work out.
Cornwell’s own history is a lot more interesting than the CSI-like Scarpetta novels. She’s been criticized for her theory that painter Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper, is a friend of the elder George Bush and had a relationship with FBI agent Marguerite Bennett that led to Bennett’s husband, also an FBI agent, to attempt Marguerite’s murder, abduct their minister and threaten to blow up his church.
Where’s that movie? Oh, right. Lifetime.