This sounds like a real-life story that could make for a potentially riveting film, and a plump role for Halle, in the hands of the right director.
It's called Who Is Doris Payne, a Eunetta Boone-scripted, fact-based film about an international jewel thief whose career spanned five decades!
I googled "Doris Payne" and found an interesting piece on her at MSNBC.com, dated November 2005.
In the article, the then 75-year old Payne (in the picture on the left) was serving a 2-year sentence in a Nevada jail, on charges that she stole a diamond ring from a Neiman Marcus store in Palo Alto, California, and sold it in Las Vegas.
Following her term in Nevada, she will be transferred to a prison in Denver, Colorado (where she currently is today) to serve a 4-year sentence for a similar crime elsewhere.
Reading over the MSNBC story, Payne seems to relish the questionable, yet likely thrilling life she led as a jewel thief, which led her to the life behind bars she is currently enduring. Certainly, she has some regrets; but, at 78 years old, she's seen the world, stealing from jewelers in places like Paris and Monte Carlo, and lived the kind of life many of us can only dream of, given how prolific a thief she was, stealing countless diamonds, costing tens-of-thousands of dollars each, and selling them for tidy sums.
What's even more fascinating about all this is that, despite her "creamy, mocha skin" as the MSNBC report put it, she is obviously a black woman, who somehow was able to smoothly and confidently, repeatedly steal very expensive pieces of jewelry from upscale establishments, at a time in our history when black people were already under intense, conspicuous "surveillance."
Reading between the lines of some of Doris Payne's statements, she will likely do it all again, if she could, showing no desire to bring an end to it all! Obviously, others can see that as well, which is why she's now serving successive sentences in different states, for her past sins, which will likely continue until her death.
She begun her "career" as an international diamond thief in her late teens. The impetus for it all? Partly to please and take care of her mother.
I'm reminded of a 2001 film called Lift, which starred Kerry Washington in a very similar role - an intelligent, young, African American woman who shoplifts from upscale, high-end department stores, mostly to please her very critical mother, illustrating the effects that materialism has on a dysfunctional family. The film was nominated for two 2002 Independent Spirit Awards, and received critical acclaim at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. It's not a great film, but its unique storyline and Washington's performance make it recommended viewing.
No word on when Who Is Doris Payne will go into production, when it will be released, nor who its director will be. But I'm guessing Halle, being already attached, will have a say in that decision... let's hope the choice is one we can all get excited about!
I suggest reading the MSNBC article HERE to familiarize yourself with Ms Payne's riveting story.