Based on the life of Payne, a West Virginia native who made headlines for perpetrating luxury jewelry heists across the globe, the film is being billed as an action-drama built in the mold of modern classics like Catch Me if You Can and The Thomas Crown Affair. Over the course of six decades, Payne reportedly entered jewelry stores posing as a customer and used her charm to disorient clerks into losing track of which items had been taken out of the case. In an interview with ABC News, Payne once admitted to using over 20 aliases, at least ten social security numbers, and nine dates of birth over the course of her nefarious career.
After the news was announced on Tuesday, an ecstatic Thompson tweeted that she had been chasing Doris and her story for years and was "screaming that this dream is coming true." According to Variety, she will also produce the film alongside Codeblack's Jeff Clanagan.
At the forefront of the battle for gender equality in Hollywood, Thompson put her money where her mouth is by creating one more female-led movie for an industry that desperately needs them. Just yesterday, Daniel Craig's wife Rachel Weisz made headlines by suggesting that women yearning for a female James Bond should "create [their] own story" instead. While Payne isn't exactly a superspy, hers is story with a cunning woman at its core. These are the kinds of roles that turn stars like Thompson into household names.
People familiar with Payne's status as "a badass scamming legend" quickly jumped on Twitter to share their excitement on Tuesday afternoon.
Payne was recently the subject of a 2013 documentary called The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne. The doc followed Payne's story from her earliest crimes in the '50s up to her present-day legal issues. As recently as July 2017, Payne was arrested for shoplifting at a Walmart in Atlanta while wearing an ankle monitor from a previous arrest.
You can watch a trailer for The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne below.