Twitter’s favorite “you had to be there” moment has not only gotten a film adaptation but a trailer and release date that’s just in time for the summer.
Independent movie company A24 has released the official trailer for “Zola,” a film based on the infamous 148-part Twitter thread shared by Twitter storyteller A’Ziah Wells King. The film follows a Detroit waitress named Zola, played by actress Taylour Paige, who befriends a young girl Stefani, played by actress Riley Keough.
Stefani convinces Zola to join her for a weekend in Florida full of dancing, fun, and “hoe” activities. However, not too long into their excursion, Zola learns the trip is not precisely what Stefani had portrayed to her. The two ladies soon find themselves on a 48-hour journey involving a nameless pimp, an idiot boyfriend, a handful of Tampa gangsters, and a slew of unplanned events. Incredibly, the whole saga is based on a real-life weekend King experienced.
Variety’s Peter Debruge described the film as “an irreverent, sensibility-offending trip for audiences” when the movie made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020. “Zola” was directed by Janicza Bravo, and, like many, Bravo was introduced to the story by way of a group text chain.
“You’re like, this is not funny on paper,” Bravo told Variety. “Like, it’s not funny. But [King] managed to extrapolate all of this humor and tension and stress and anxiety, and it just like got me. … It was electric. I could feel the blood coursing through my veins, and I wanted it, and I thought that, like, only a Black girl could’ve experienced that and processed it and exorcised it. In that way, only a person who is innately adept at engaging with their trauma is able to take a step away from it, retell the story and take ahold of their narrative.”
Many fans took to their social media platforms to express their excitement over the film’s release. Sports journalist Jemele Hill wrote, “I’m SO in on this. Zola’s Twitter thread remains a top 5 thread on this app, and it ain’t 5.” She added, “That the thread turned into a movie is just amazing.”
Another Twitter user commented, “Words cannot describe how excited I am to finally watch this again and then watch the TL go wild 😝.”
“I remember the night the Zola thread happened, watching it in real time, being captivated and then by the end of the story the discourse that happened was wild as f-ck,” a third expressed.
A fourth wrote, “I’m ready. Take my money.”
Zola is set to hit theaters on June 30. It also stars TS Madison, Jason Mitchell, Nelcie Souffrant, Nasir Rahim.
Check out the thread that started it all and the trailer down below.