International jewel thief Doris Payne is pictured here in an old mugshot on the left. Actress Tessa Thompson, on the right, will star in a biopic about Payne.
Photo: AJC file photo on the left and Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney
Photo: AJC file photo on the left and Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Tessa Thompson to star as notorious jewel thief Doris Payne in upcoming biopic

Actress Tessa Thompson will star in an upcoming biopic of international jewel thief and metro Atlanta resident Doris Payne, according to Variety.

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Payne, 87, has stolen approximately $2 million worth of jewelry and other items over her six-decade career. She was last arrested in July 2017, after she was accused of stealing $86.22 worth of merchandise from a DeKalb County, Ga., Walmart. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served.

Payne’s most lucrative alleged heist occurred in the 1970s, when she was accused of stealing a 10-carat diamond ring worth $500,000 in Monte Carlo. Charges against her were dismissed when police could not find the ring. Payne detailed many of her crimes in a 2013 documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.” 

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Payne’s life rights were purchased by Codeblack Films, a subsidiary of Lionsgate. The film is currently untitled, Variety reported. 

Thompson has had roles in “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Creed,” and “Selma.” She will play Valkyrie in the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War,” which was filmed in Atlanta. 

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