Back in 2015, before Twitter morphed into the toxic hellscape of differing political opinions we know and love it for today, other stuff used to happen on the platform. One of those things was the intense tale that A'ziah "Zola" King unloaded on her timeline, regaling followers with the epic cross-country adventure of two strippers. Years later, we’ll finally have the pleasure of reliving that story in the upcoming A24 film, and from its official full-length trailer, it looks every bit as delightfully ridiculous as the Twitter thread that inspired it. Zola, we’ve been waiting for you.
King, better known on social media as @_zolarmoon, created one of the most memorable moments in Twitter history that day, keeping followers from all over the world fully engrossed in the wild and twisty anecdote about her fallout with a former stripper acquaintance. The details of the story were so compelling — even if a bit hyperbolic at times — that they caught the eye of filmmakers Jeremy O. Harris and Janicza Bravo. Eventually, the project was greenlit by A24 for the big screen.
Zola lays out the chaos of Wells’ 148-tweet Twitter thread in film form, with Taylour Paige (Hit the Floor, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) taking on the role (and the chaotic nature) of the eponymous protagonist. Throughout the movie, Paige's Zola will be pulled into what she believes to be a gig with her kinda-sorta friend Stefani (Riley Keough). But she quickly discovers that her new cash grab is actually far more complicated than just raking in big money dancing in various Florida strip clubs — Stefani and her clueless boyfriend (played by Nicholas Braun) are actually tied up in a dangerous scheme with Stefani's pimp, X (Colman Domingo).
What follows is an adventure of epic proportions, which sees the young women and their companions step into the seedy underbelly of Florida's night scene. As the danger grows over the course of the two-day excursion, even party girl Zola can't seem keep up with the pandemonium.
"This is messy!" an exasperated Zola tells Stefani in the trailer. "You are messy! Your brain is broke!"
The movie first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, only building on the existing excitement about the project. Thankfully, Zola already looks like a hilarious accurate execution of King's lawless original thread, glittery pasties and all.
Zola is set to hit theaters this summer.