‘Zola’ Is the Real-Life Story of a Weekend of Stripping Gone Horribly Wrong

Read the viral Twitter thread that started it all and watch the trailer for this unbelievable film.

Yesterday, March 31st, A24 dropped a trailer for their new movie Zola. It’s a thriller that takes place over a single weekend, during which two new friends take a road trip to supposedly strip at a high-paying club. But the weekend goes south, and fast, as the pair find themselves entangled in sex work and working alongside gangsters, pimps, and murderers, and oh, right…

This is all based on a true story.

The plot of Zola came straight from a 2015 Twitter thread written by A’Ziah “Zola” King. At that time, King was a dancer and a waitress who linked up with a girl named Jessica after waiting on her at Hooters. Hours after they first met, Jessica propositioned King to drive with her, her boyfriend, and a mysterious man named Z to Florida to make big bucks at a club down there.

However, the money wasn’t as good as promised, and King found herself in a sticky situation when prostitution was worked into the weekend trip. King ends up becoming a pseudo-pimp, preventing a suicide attempt, witnessing a kidnapping, hearing a murder happen…

“I was like…I REALLY gotta go home y’all. Sorry to kill the mood but I can’t take no more of this,” one of King’s tweets in the thread reads.

You can read King’s full thread right here. Each tweet in the 148-tweet thread received over 500 likes and King backed up the story with photos and location tags. So, as far as we know, the entire story is true and absolutely nuts.

Zola is written and directed by Janicza Bravo.

Bravo has formerly flexed her director skills on Atlanta, Love, and Dear White People.

King is credited for her story, and it appears as though King and Bravo worked together to transcribe the thread into movie format. King’s Instagram account, @zolarmoon, is linked in the official Zola Instagram bio.

Who’s in the cast?

Taylour Paige (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Hit the Floor) will play the protagonist Zola, who also plays the narrator as she recounts the events from the weekend. Jessica, whose name was changed to Steni in the film, is played by Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road, American Honey, The Girlfriend Experience), and her boyfriend Jarrett, whose name was changed to Derek, is played by Succession’s Nicholas Braun. And Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead, Euphoria) plays the ringleader of the operation, X.

The film will be released this summer.

As of right now, Zola’s release date is set for June 30th, 2021. And although we know how the story ends, we’re still on the edge of our seats.

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