Zola: Read the epic true story behind the new film

Odyssean Twitter story was described as ‘the greatest stripper saga ever tweeted’ when it went viral in 2015

Trailer for Zola released

Fans are reacting with excitement to the first trailer for Zola, the film inspired by a wild Twitter thread that went viral in 2015.

A24, the film’s distributor in the United States, unveiled the clip this week. The entertainment company has been behind such movies as the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems, Ari Aster’s Midsommar, and Jonah Hill’s Mid90s.

The trailer features Taylour Paige (seen recently in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) as Aziah “Zola” King, the title character and narrator of the story. Riley Keough (The Devil All the Time, The Girlfriend Experience), portrays Stefani, a woman who invites Zola on an out-of-control road trip, while Succession’s Nicholas Braun also stars.

The film was inspired by a famous 2015 Twitter thread by user @_zolarmoon, which detailed an extraordinary story described in a Rolling Stone article as “the greatest stripper saga ever tweeted”.

“You wanna hear a story about how me and this bitch fell out? It’s kind of long, but it’s full of suspense,” said the original tweet that launched the thread, widely regarded as the first example of what is now a popular story-telling device on the social media site.

It went on to tell the saga of A’Ziah-Monae “Zola” King, a Detroit waitress and dancer who embarked on a bizarre and highly eventful road trip with a woman she’d met just hours before.

After agreeing to take the trip to Florida for what the woman, later introduced as Jessica (Stefani in the film), promised would be a well-paid dancing gig, King gets caught up into one dodgy situation after another, involving pimps, sugar daddies and handguns.

If you’re interested in reading the original (NSFW) thread, you’re in luck. It’s all saved on a Imgur page which you can find here.

The film is scheduled for release in the US on 30 June 2021. A UK release date has yet to be confirmed.

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