'Zola' Turns a Viral 148-Tweet Twitter Thread Into One of This Year's Most-Anticipated Movies

If you read the thread back in 2015, you'll know this tale takes quite the rollercoaster ride.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 18, 2021

"You wanna hear a story about how me and this bitch fell out?It's kind of long, but it's full of suspense." They're some of the first words heard in the just-dropped Australian trailer for Zola — and if they sound familiar, that's because this rollercoaster ride of a comedy is based on a lengthy 148-tweet Twitter thread that went viral back in 2015.

That October, Aziah 'Zola' Wells tweeted out a hefty tale about a woman she met at Hooters. Zola was her waitress, and they hit it off quickly ("vibing over our hoeism or whatever" is how she explains it in the Twitter thread). Then, the next day, Zola received an invite to head to Florida with her new pal. Where it all goes from there is best discovered either by reading through the chaotic tweets — if you haven't done so already — and, soon, by seeing these OTT events play out in this eagerly anticipated new flick.

Indeed, Zola, the film, might ring a bell for a couple of other reasons. It sparked plenty of buzz back at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival — yes, that long ago — but obviously the movie's release both in the US and locally has been delayed by the pandemic, as has proven the case with plenty of other films of late. Also, if you're in Sydney or Melbourne, Zola is one of the already-announced titles on both the 2021 Sydney Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival lineups. In fact, it's among the big drawcards at both fests so far.

Viewers everywhere across the country will be able to watch the film come September 23, too, as that's when it'll release in Aussie cinemas. Based on the tweets alone, this is one of the year's must-sees. Once you've seen the trailer — which sports a retro aesthetic and a big Hustlers vibe — that feeling will only grow.

Bring the story to the screen, Taylour Paige (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) plays Zola, while Riley Keough (The Lodge) co-stars as her new — and short-lived — friend Stefani. Meanwhile, filmmaker Janicza Bravo (Forever, Them, Mrs America) is behind the camera, guiding viewers on quite the journey.

Check out the trailer below:

Zola will screen at this year's Sydney Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, before releasing in Australian cinemas on September 23.

Published on June 18, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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