While the evening TV schedules are eaten up by a plague of forensic crime drama they’ll soon be a big screen outing from one of the pioneers of the genre.

Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta novels have had readers hooked since they began in 1990 with Postmortem, and Richmond, Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner has been through seventeen novels and twenty years of crime scenes and the minutiae of death, and Hollywood has long been searching for the right creative team to bring the character to the big screen.

It was after meeting with Cornwell on the set of Salt that Angelina Jolie agreed to sign up, according to the L.A. Times, and now with a scriptwriter on board, Kerry Williamson whose imdb profile lists this and a film called Fork in the Road as her only credits, the film is moving ahead, as soon as schedules allow.

Despite the many novels the Times reports that Fox 2000 are going all the way back into an origin story of sorts, perhaps to distance themselves from the novels, but also serving Scarpetta’s fans who will get a look at their heroine years before the character they know and love was fully formed. It’s a bold move but one which could free the series, because the word ‘franchise’ is surely on everyone’s lips.

Are you a fan of the Scarpetta novels? Is the news that Angelina Jolie is playing her inspired or insipid?