The film we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: Zola’s viral Twitter story is ready for the big screen, and is set to premiere at Sundance 2020.
If you haven’t read Zola’s (AKA Aziah King) thread, you can find the full story here. It details a wild weekend in Florida after Zola meets Hooters waitress and “white bitch” Jess. The next day – after quickly bonding over their shared “hoeism” – the pair take a trip with Jess’ boyfriend Jarrett and “hulking black guy” (and pimp) Z. What starts off as a stripping roadtrip descends into sex, murder, and a near-suicide.
Since the story went viral on Twitter in 2015, we’ve been itching for the film adaption, even dreaming up our ideal cast – and now that day is here. Despite James Franco previously reported at the helm, Zola is set to be directed by Atlanta-collaborator Janicza Bravo, who also co-wrote the script with Jeremy O. Harris.
Announcing the film on Twitter, O. Harris wrote: “Merry XXX-Mas. Who’s ready to vibe over ho-ho-ho-isms @sundancefest??? Because ZOLA is coming.”
Speaking about Bravo, the writer continued: “The only reason I was hired to co-write Zola was because a black woman and genius believed in me. Her belief ushered, me an unproductive playwright, onto the most fun team ever and she has changed my life.”
The cast stars Taylour Paige as Zola and Riley Keough as Jess, with Nicholas Braun playing her boyfriend Jarrett and Colman Domingo as her pimp, Z – though their names have seemingly been changed to Derrek and X. Jason Mitchell is also on board as a character called Mitch, with Ari’el Stachel playing someone named Sean.
Zola will premiere at Sundance in Utah, with the festival running from January 23 to February 2. It’s likely most of us still won’t see the film for a while, but at least the thought of its imminent arrival will help us through our January blues.