It’s been over four years since a Twitter thread written by a woman with the username Zola, real name Aziah King, captivated a nation. The story included every element of a compelling narrative: sex, murder, and Florida. Naturally, there were calls for a film adaptation. People wanted to see this road-tripping stripper saga played out on-screen.
For a time, there were rumors that James Franco would be directing a Zola adaptation, but now we have confirmation that Janicza Bravo (Atlanta, Lemon) directed the film, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020. She also co-wrote the script alongside Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris.
Harris announced his part in the film on Twitter, writing that “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 changed my life.” He also shared a clip of Bravo directing — the seconds-long clip alone is enough to be excited about the movie.
The film will star Taylour Paige (White Boy Rick, Hit The Floor), Riley Keough (Logan Lucky, American Honey), Nicholas Braun (Succession), Jason Mitchell (The Chi), and Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead, If Beale Street Could Talk). Paige will play Zola, and Keuogh will play “white bitch” Jess. Braun will play Jess’s boyfriend, and Domingo will play Jess’s pimp, Z.
A promotional photo shared of the film show Paige and Keogh in a what seems like a bitter stare down.
Sundance Film Festival runs from January 23 until February 2.