Author Patricia Cornwell

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on July 11, 2004

I understand Patricia Cornwell has sold her copyrights to a filming company. Is this true?

—Tom J., West Virginia

Authors don’t actually sell their “copyrights” to film companies—they sell secondary rights, such as motion picture rights, giving studios permission to adapt their story to the screen. Cornwell’s agents shopped the rights to her Kay Scarpetta novels for years, but it wasn’t until summer 2000 that they finally struck a deal. Sony Pictures reportedly paid $5 million for a five-year option to 11 Scarpetta books to produce a series of films. No word on who will play the brilliant Scarpetta. At one point, both Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon threw their hats into the ring, but the author desperately wanted Jodie Foster, who passed. Cornwell’s latest novel is Blow Fly.