You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tessa Thompson to Star as Doris Payne in Jewelry Heist Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world.

Thompson, whose credits include “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” will also produce the currently untitled film with Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan. Codeblack is launching the project after having obtained Payne’s life rights.

The film is conceived as a high-concept action-drama in the vein of “Catch Me if You Can” and  “The Thomas Crown Affair.” Codeblack Films’ Candice Wilson will oversee the project.

In her six-decade long career, Payne, who is now 87, would enter jewelry stores posing as a well-to-do woman looking for a diamond ring and ask to see an assortment of items. Using her charm, she would eventually cause the clerk to forget how many pieces were outside the cases and leave with one or two pieces.

Payne’s criminal record dates back to the 1950s. She was arrested many times and has admitted to having used 20 aliases, 10 Social Security numbers, and nine dates of birth.

Payne was the subject of a 2013 documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,” where she described in detail many of her crimes, from the earliest thefts in her youth, up to her arrest in 2011 for stealing a diamond ring from a Macy’s department store. The trial for this crime was chronicled in the documentary, and her last interview in the film took place in prison.

Codeblack Films, which is part of Lionsgate, also has an Angela Davis biopic in active development. Its drama “Traffik” — starring Paula Patton, Omar Epps, Roselyn Sanchez, and Laz Alonso — opens April 27.

Thompson is represented by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Mosaic and attorney Jeff Bernstein.

More Film

  • David Permut

    Nuclear Bomb Movie in Development With 'Hacksaw Ridge' Producer

    Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world. Thompson, whose credits include “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” will also produce the currently untitled film with Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan. Codeblack is launching the project after having obtained Payne’s life […]

  • Keshet Int’l. Looks for Next ‘Homeland’

    Keshet Intl. Looks for Next ‘Homeland’ With $65 Million Fund

    Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world. Thompson, whose credits include “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” will also produce the currently untitled film with Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan. Codeblack is launching the project after having obtained Payne’s life […]

  • Mariya GABRIEL in the European Parliament

    European Film Directory Presented by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

    Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world. Thompson, whose credits include “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” will also produce the currently untitled film with Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan. Codeblack is launching the project after having obtained Payne’s life […]

  • Cinephil Takes 'Rossellinis' Doc On Film

    Rome MIA: Cinephil Takes 'The Rossellinis' Doc On Film Icon's Uneasy Family Legacy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world. Thompson, whose credits include “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” will also produce the currently untitled film with Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan. Codeblack is launching the project after having obtained Payne’s life […]

  • Rome's MIA Market Opens For Business

    Rome's MIA Market Opens For Business

    Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world. Thompson, whose credits include “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” will also produce the currently untitled film with Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan. Codeblack is launching the project after having obtained Payne’s life […]

  • Netflix, Bambu Shoot Gabriela Tagliavini’s ‘A

    Netflix, Bambu Roll on Gabriela Tagliavini’s ‘A pesar de todo’

    Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world. Thompson, whose credits include “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” will also produce the currently untitled film with Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan. Codeblack is launching the project after having obtained Payne’s life […]

  • Big Kill

    Film Review: 'Big Kill'

    Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world. Thompson, whose credits include “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” will also produce the currently untitled film with Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan. Codeblack is launching the project after having obtained Payne’s life […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content