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Angelina to Play Patricia Cornwell Heroine?

04/22/2009 at 11:35 AM EDT

Angelina to Play Patricia Cornwell Heroine?
Angelina Jolie
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Angelina Jolie may have landed a new franchise. The Oscar winner, 33, reportedly signed to play Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the crime-solving medical examiner in novelist Patricia Cornwell's bestselling series.

Although there are 16 Scarpetta novels, this film won't focus on a specific Cornwell title, Variety reports. Cornwell's latest novel, simply titled Scarpetta, was published in December.

In the novels, Kay Scarpetta, the beautiful, tough-as-nails forensic examiner, has a messy love life and a penchant for opera and Italian cooking. Before relocating to Massachusetts she was the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia.

Jolie has played several hard-edged characters in films such as Wanted, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Gone in Sixty Seconds. If everything pans out, Scarpetta will be her second franchise, after the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider series.

Jolie's rep tells PEOPLE a deal is not confirmed.
Steve Helling

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