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Read It Before They Screen It: Patricia Cornwell, Isaac Asimov, and Mordecai Richler

Angelina Jolie portraying Patricia Cornwell's bestselling medical examiner Kay Scarpetta on the big screen? It could happen.

According to Variety, production company Fox 2000 has acquired the screen rights to Cornwell's series character as a vehicle for Jolie.

There are 16 Scarpetta novels, meaning a franchise is hoped for, but this film won't be tied to a specific Cornwell mystery title. Much the way that Jason Bourne morphed into an action hero in plots not rigidly locked into the Robert Ludlum book series, the opera-loving coroner Scarpetta will be the lead in a suspense thriller in the vein of The Silence of the Lambs and Seven.

Remember what a hit franchise Jolie and Denzel Washington sparked with their film of Jeffrey Deaver's The Bone Collector?

Oh, um, whoops. Never mind about that.

÷ ÷ ÷

Kevin Macdonald, who directed the current hit political thriller State of Play, has signed to direct the film version of late science-fiction grandmaster Isaac Asimov's 1955 novel The End of Eternity.

Variety reports:

Futuristic tale concerns a ruling class called Eternity whose members can manipulate time and alter history.

Hopefully the movie deal will prompt some enterprising U.S. publisher to put the novel back in print, as it's currently only available in a U.K. edition.

÷ ÷ ÷

Sideways star Paul Giamatti is set to star in a film adaptation of Mordecai Richler's last novel, Barney's Version.

Story's title character has led a reckless life highlighted by three marriages, two children and being a "person of interest" in the mysterious disappearance of his bosom buddy.

The New York Times called the book a "fine, funny novel...deft, irreverent and affecting." The Los Angeles Times declared it "Richler's great achievement."

And yet, it's also out of print. Paging all publishers...

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.


Books mentioned in this post

  1. Portland Noir (Akashic Noir)
    Used Trade Paper $9.95
  2. The Bone Collector
    Used Mass Market $5.95


  3. Barney's Version Used Trade Paper $5.50
  4. Sideways New DVD $13.94
  5. Book of the Dead (Kay Scarpetta...
    Used Mass Market $4.50



One Response to "Read It Before They Screen It: Patricia Cornwell, Isaac Asimov, and Mordecai Richler"

  1.  
    DeniseB May 14th, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Angelina as Scarpetta? Although I know all they guys would love that - Scarpetta she is NOT! How about Emma Thompson, the way she appreared in "Stranger Than Fiction" - much more apporpriate, don't you think? Scarpetta can't be bothered with plastic surgery and make-up for God sakes, she is busy fighting crime one dead body at a time!!

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