Tessa Thompson Steals Away With Biopic On Jewel Thief Doris Payne

Tessa Thompson will go from stealing scenes in Thor: Ragnarok to stealing jewels in an upcoming biopic based on the life of high-class jewel thief Doris Payne. According to Variety, Payne’s life rights were obtained by Codeblack Films for Thompson to both star in and produce, with hopes of making a heist movie in the vein of The Thomas Crown Affair and Catch Me If You Can.

Payne is a fascinating figure whose career as a thief has spanned six decades, in which she has stolen valuable luxury jewels from stores all around the world. She would walk into jewelry shops posing as a well-off woman shopping for a diamond ring, asking to see a variety of pieces. Then using her charm and wits she would distract the clerk to the point they would forget how many were brought out for display, and Payne would pocket a few.  Payne’s most valuable heist is believed to have been in the 1970s when she made away with a diamond ring in Monte Carlo valued at $500K. She was arrested for that crime, but was set free when they couldn’t find the ring.

Even today at the age of 87 she continues to ply her trade, getting busted repeatedly for thefts. I guess all that newfound technology is making the shoplifting game tricky. She was busted just last year for stealing $86 worth of items from a Walmart. Here’s hoping the movie doesn’t end on that note.