Zola, the biographical comedy drama from director Janicza Bravo, based on the wildly popular Twitter thread by Aziah “Zola” King and starring Taylour Paige (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Riley Keough (Under The Silver Lake), is set to be released in theaters on June 30.
The viral story, which in King’s own words is “kind of long but full of suspense,” was a cross-country weekend trip from hell filled with sex, drugs, a Nigerian pimp, and so much drama that it was colloquially nicknamed “The Thotyssey” back when King first penned the sprawling 148-tweet opus in 2015. In the lead up to the film’s premiere, A24 is publishing a special hardbound novelette version of the original Twitter thread, complete with bright purple trim pages and extravagant splash pages of the story’s most memorable (see: wacky) passages.
Based on David Kushner’s 2015 Rolling Stones profile of Aziah “Zola” King, the film follows stripper Zola (Taylour Paige) as she embarks one a road trip to Florida with Stefani, a stripper-turned-call girl with ulterior motives. What begins as a benign weekend getaway to make some quick cash quickly morphs into a bizarre funhouse ride of horror, murder, and suspense. Polygon’s Matt Patches was able to catch Zola during the film’s premiere at last year’s Sundance, describing it as, “the product of a new generation of filmmakers, late-age millennial auteurs who don’t need to bow down to the past and settle for pastiche,” and comparing it favorably to the likes of the Safdie Brother’s Uncut Gems and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell.
The book version will be available for purchase June 16 on the A24 website.
Zola premieres in theaters June 30.