Tessa Thompson to Play Notorious Jewel Thief Doris Payne in Heist Film

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Tessa Thompson

The actress will both star in and co-produce the pic.

Fresh off of her role as a bounty hunter in Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson is set to portray another renegade in an upcoming project for Lionsgate's Codeblack Films: notorious jewel thief Doris Payne.

Thompson will both star in and co-produce the film about the now-87-year-old jewel thief, who has reportedly committed countless robberies and whose criminal career has spanned six decades, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Tuesday. Codeblack's Jeff Clanagan will also be producing after the company acquired Payne's life rights.

Payne has shoplifted from high-end stores since the 1950s, often by posing as a well-off woman who wore designer handbags and was armed with a backstory. She has used at least 32 aliases, according to a recent count, 11 different Social Security numbers and nine different passports to pull off her crimes. Most recently, in 2017, Payne was caught shoplifting $86.22 worth of merchandise from a Walmart in Georgia while wearing an ankle bracelet from a previous arrest.

Her life has previously been the subject of the 2013 documentary The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, from Treehouse Moving Images.

Thompson can be seen in the upcoming Alex Garland-directed sci-fi film Annihilation, as well as the in-the-works sequel to the 2015 film Creed, directed by Steven Caple, Jr., and IFC Films' road comedy Furlough alongside Melissa Leo.

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