Back in April last year we reported that Fox 2000 had scooped up the rights to Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta mystery novel series, with mega-star Angelina Jolie in line to star. Now we get word that the project is moving forward with a writer and that Jolie is, indeed, confirmed for the film.

THR’s Risky Biz Blog reports the news that Kerry Williamson (Fork in the Road) will adapt Cornwell’s mystery series for the big-screen. The project is being eyed as a possible new franchise for Jolie, since the novel series has 17 entries (so far), with the latest one, The Scarpetta Factor, being released last October. Williamson’s script will draw from all the characters and events of the novels, as opposed to focusing on just one. It’s much the same as the Bourne franchise in that way, since none of those films really follow the books all that closely but rather draw from the entire canon. Scarpetta previously been pitched as, “a suspense thriller in the vein of Silence of the Lambs and Se7en.”

The rights to the Scarpetta series have been kicking around for about 15 years now which suggests that it’s not that easy of a series to adapt (if it was, wouldn’t we have seen an adaptation long ago?). Mark Gordon pursued the rights to the series after Columbia let them expire and he is now producing the project along with Media Talent Group’s Geyer Kosinski (who is also Jolie’s manager).

Williamson is one of those writers who we’ll probably be seeing in-demand in the future: Right now she’s written Fork in the Road for director Alexander Payne (Sideways), and is set to adapt an article on a bank heist for Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) to helm, called Breaking the Bank. It’s not yet known who will be directing Scarpetta (presumably that’s what they’ll call the film, unless they draw from one of the novel titles).

In case you don’t know, the Scarpetta series follows Dr. Kay Scarpetta as she solves crimes based on trace body evidence and often finds herself wrapped up in dangerous mysteries. Given the popularity of the novels, there’s already an audience out there who will see a movie adaptation no matter who is starring, let alone with star mega-power like Jolie attached.

Anyone out there happen to have read the Scarpetta novels? If so (or even if not), do you think Jolie is the right actress to star in the role?

No word on when Scarpetta might go into production or hit theaters – stay tuned. Jolie can next be seen in the spy action-thriller, Salt, which is due out on July 23rd this year.

Source: THR’s Risky Biz Blog (thanks to First Showing)