“Y’all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense”
That’s how the infamous 148-tweet Twitter thread from Aziah “Zola” Wells (under the Twitter handle _zolarmoon) began in October 2015, and what a story it was. Over this extensive tale, Wells detailed how she and a stripper named Jessica (the “bitch” in question) took a wild adventure to Florida that caught Twitter’s attention for days on end.
With that kind of internet recognition, it was inevitable that this story would eventually make its way to the big screen, and we’ve got a new look at A24’s film based on Zola’s story. Highly anticipated, it’s even Joey’s most anticipated movie of 2021.
Fittingly titled Zola, the film is written and directed by Janicza Bravo, her sophomore feature after 2017’s Lemon. Bravo won a jury prize at Sundance in 2014 for her short film Gregory Go Boom and has directed for television series like Divorce, Dear White People, and upcoming Amazon series Them, as well as the standout “Juneteenth” episode of Atlanta.
Zola stars Taylour Paige in the title role, with A24 regular Riley Keough playing the Jessica part (named Stefani in the film), and a supporting cast that includes Nicholas Braun, Colman Domingo, and Jason Mitchell.
The film is currently set for a June 30, 2021 release date, although A24 is hedging their bets a little bit with that by marketing the film simply as “coming this summer”, which might mean a date change at some point.
Get your first look at the trailer for Zola below: