Jamie Lee Curtis and Blumhouse Television have partnered up to acquire the rights to Patricia Cornwell’s literary favorite character Kay Scarpetta, with the actress’ Comet Pictures and the horror hit factory seeking a showrunner and home for the one-hour series.
Forensic pathologist Scarpetta has appeared in 25 crime thriller novels since her first appearance in Cornwall’s Postmortem back in 1990, with the latest, Autopsy, set to be released in December, although it isn’t mentioned whether or not Curtis is eyeing an onscreen role. The project will fall under Curtis’ first-look deal with Blumhouse, and she’ll executive produce the show with Jeremy Gold, while Blumhouse Television’s Jason Blum and Chris McCumber are additionally listed as executive producers.
The legendary scream queen just so happens to be both a big fan and a good friend of Cornwall, with the author notoriously reluctant to allow Hollywood to adapt Scarpetta for either film or television. Demi Moore was set to play her in the early ’90s when Columbia Pictures placed Cruel and Unusual into development, while a decade later Angelina Jolie was attached to Red Mist for Fox 2000.
Cornwall released a statement to celebrate the news, and is clearly enthusiastic at the prospect of Curtis and Blumhouse bringing her most famous creation into live-action at long last:
“I’ve had the honor and pleasure of knowing Jamie for a number of years, and have come to respect her hugely as an artist and a stellar human being. Blumhouse is a creative force of nature, and I’m confident that Scarpetta is going to make it to the screen in a fantastic way. To say I’m thrilled is an understatement, and I have no doubt my readers will feel the same.”
It’s yet another addition to a jam-packed slate for Curtis, who’s currently shooting Eli Roth’s Borderlands and has horror sequels Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends arriving in October of this year and next, as well as A24’s mysterious sci-fi Everything Everywhere All at Once. On top of that, she’s also set to co-write and direct eco-horror Mother Nature, while a TV pilot based on her Audible podcast Letters from Camp is also in the works.
The Cornwall series marks a further deviation from familiar territory for Blumhouse, with the company having pivoted away from horror on television already with historical miniseries The Good Lord Bird, drama The Loudest Voice, docuseries A Wilderness of Error and The Jinx, along with HBO’s psychological thriller Sharp Objects and Netflix doc A Secret Love, with Kay Scarpetta finally set for the screen over 30 years after her literary debut.