Cornwell's 17 books featuring the tough-as-nails medical examiner have sold millions, and the character was first optioned in 1990. She tried to get Jodie Foster to take on the role, and once locked herself in a room with a director in a vain attempt to get the project off the ground.
Now that Jolie has signed on, it's a go, according to the Los Angeles Times. Given that parallels have long been drawn between Cornwell and Scarpetta, the author can't mind having one of Hollywood's top stars in the role.
"I think she's a bit of the runaway bride," Cornwell says of her literary alter ego's relationship with Hollywood. "She flirts, but won't get married."
The movie will bring events to the present day, yet focus on Scarpetta's early days -- before she's the established figure she is in the books. We're thinking "The Silence of the Lambs," with a medical examiner instead of a fledgling FBI agent. With Jolie on board, it's got serious potential.