Jolie ‘too exotic’ to play Kay Scarpetta, say fans

Feb 25, 2010
Rachel Helyer-Donaldson

Writer Patricia Cornwell admits Jodie Foster was her first choice to play heroine

Fans of crime writer Patricia Cornwell have attacked the casting of Angelina Jolie as the author’s most famous heroine, Dr Kay Scarpetta, after the author admitted yesterday that Jodie Foster had been her first choice for the movie.
Cornwell's legions of fans have waited for two decades to see Scarpetta, the forensic medical examiner who features in 17 of her mystery novels, brought to life on the big screen. Several Hollywood film studios have spent more than $10 million in development while actresses as diverse as Demi Moore and Kristin Scott Thomas have been tipped to play her.
Both Jolie (above left) and Cornwell signed up to Fox's Scarpetta project last April. Variety described the deal as a "mega-marriage" between one of Hollywood's most bankable actresses and one of the world's top-selling female authors. Fox hopes to create a franchise as successful as the Bourne films, which were based on the Robert Ludlum book series, and filming is set to begin later this year.
But yesterday Cornwell readers described Jolie as "too exotic" to play Scarpetta.  Like Cornwell, Scarpetta is a petite blonde lesbian in her mid-fifties. Jodie Foster (above right) would have been an ideal choice – but 34-year-old Jolie is "all wrong", even if she did once admit to being bisexual and having an affair with her Foxfire co-star Jenny Shimizu in the 1990s.
"Kay is a 'striking' woman, she has class,” a Cornwell fan, Carol Samuel, told the Daily Mail. "Angie's exotic looks would take away from the actual characters. The person to play Scarpetta should be between 40 and 45."
However, Cornwell told the Los Angeles Times that the film will 'relaunch' Scarpetta's story, setting it in 2010 and making the character in her thirties. "I can understand why the studio doesn't want to launch her as someone who's my age," the 53-year-old author said.
The film's screenwriter Kerry Williamson said Jolie's character would have an "intensity and sexuality" about her.  "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."

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