Kay Williamson, a little known Irish screenwriter, has been given the biggest task in the movie business - writing the movie script for Hollywood's next blockbuster featuring Angelina Jolie as ace crime writer Patricia Cornwell's most famous character, Dr. Kay Scarpetta.
Jolie will play Scarpetta, the heroine in Cornwell's seventeen books that have become global best sellers. For almost two decades Hollywood has tried to bring the Cornwell heroine to the silver screen, but now, thanks to an Irish writer, they can.
Various studios have spent over $10 million dollars trying to develop screenplays but none succeeded until Williamson took over the job.
"The script has been entrusted to little-known Irish screenwriter Kerry Williamson, who won the plum assignment over a slew of better-known scribes with her vision of a Scarpetta who hasn't fully come into her own yet," according to the Los Angeles Times.
The marriage of Angelina Jolie and the most commercial mystery novel writer in America spells blockbuster for Hollywood and shooting is expected to begin in the fall.
Williamson is taking the daring path of creating an entirely new scenario for hero Scarpetta. She will feature a distinctly younger Scarpetta, set in the present day rather than in the 1980s.
"There's almost like this brewing passion in her, and intensity and sexuality that she doesn't feel comfortable unleashing," Williamson, a Dublin native says.
"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.
“She sees what society might consider her female traits - intuition, compassion, instinct - as a weakness in the real world. Yet that is where her power lies. Her evolution is into accepting that."
Jolie and Cornwell were so happy with the proposed script that they signed on almost immediately. This ended one of the longest running sagas in Hollywood as Cornwell finally saw her heroine as ready for the silver screen.
"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, who adds that by setting Scarpetta in 2010, the filmmakers can modernize all the technology too.”