If you’ve been waiting for someone to produce a movie about the riveting Doris Payne, wait no more. Variety reports that a feature film about the life of the “Granny Gem Thief” is on the way, and Tessa Thompson—you know, Sam White in the original Dear White People and Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, just to name a few of her roles—is starring as Payne.
“After chasing Doris and her story for years—and then keeping this secret for awhile—I’m screaming that this dream is coming true,” Thompson shared via Twitter on Tuesday. “She is a deeply fascinating woman. So pleased to bring this story to the screen with Codeblack & Lionsgate. Beyond grateful.”
Per Variety, the film is being modeled in the vein of Catch Me If You Can. Candice Wilson of Codeblack Films will lead the project.
Payne, who’s been arrested many times, has been stealing big rocks (jewelry, that is) since the 1950s. Reportedly known to have used 20 aliases, ten Social Security numbers, and nine dates of birth, Payne has garnered a renowned reputation for finessing jewelers with flawless charm and ease.
And she’s far from retirement. In July 2017, an 86-year-old Payne—still wearing the ankle monitor from her DeKalb County probation on other shoplifting charges—was arrested at a Walmart in Chamblee, Ga. She was hit with a misdemeanor charge for four counts of theft by shoplifting and was accused of taking pharmaceuticals and electronics totaling $80.60.
Though this will be the first time Payne’s chronology hits major theaters, this isn’t the first her story made it to screens. In 2013, a documentary titled The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne featured Payne detailing her crimes, including her 2011 arrest for stealing a diamond ring from a Macy’s department store.
Tessa Thompson To Star As Legendary Jewelry Thief Doris Payne In New Biopic was originally published on cassiuslife.com