04/22/2009 at 11:00 AM EDT
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
Jolie's rep tells PEOPLE a deal is not confirmed.
– Steve Helling