Miscast? Angelina Jolie as Kay Scarpetta

Angelina Jolie has signed on to play Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the protagonist of Patricia Cornwell’s best-selling crime novels. The casting is bound to irritate purist fans of the Scarpetta series, as the Amazonian, brunette Jolie bears little physical resemblance to the character. The Dr. Scarpetta of the novels is a petite, middle-aged woman with short blonde hair, much like the author herself. In the early nineties, Cornwall lobbied heavily for fellow diminutive dyke Jodie Foster to play the movie version of Scarpetta.

But Foster said no all those years ago. And the very popular Jolie saying yes virtually guarantees an audience. As for the age discrepancy between the the 34-year-old actress and the character, the LA Times explains:

Fox 2000 has decided to jettison the books in favor of an origins story written directly for the screen. Set in the present day (as opposed to the late 1980s, when the series begins), the film will feature a distinctly younger Scarpetta in the years before she becomes the steely, unassailable expert pathologist she is today.

“I can understand why the studio doesn’t want to launch her as someone’s who’s my age,” says the 53-year-old Cornwell.

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    Patricia Cornwell and Angelina Jolie. Not much of a resemblance.