You don’t have to be a Twitter regular to know Zola’s story. In 2015, Aziah “Zola” King tweeted out the story of her falling out with a woman named Jessica, giving everyone a wild ride that seemed too much to be real. It all starts with a road trip to Florida, so Jessica and Zola could make money off stripping. But things quickly went awry. If you haven’t read the thread yet, we won’t spoil it so you can see for yourself. It’s tough to capture the absolute batshit nature of the tweets in a movie, but A24’s trailer for Zola does just that.
The movie changed some of the names, likely to avoid legal issues with the real people who the thread was written about, so Jessica becomes Stefani, and her boyfriend Jarrett is now named Derrek. There’s so much to unpack in the trailer, but we gotta start with Nicholas Braun as Stefani’s dumbass boyfriend. You can’t help but crack up hearing Braun casually say “We makin’ schmoney” to a guy at the liquor store while sporting the worst chin strap. Taylour Paige’s facial expressions as Zola while dealing with Stefani’s bullshit are absolutely perfect, and Riley Keough nails Stefani’s dangerous naïveté. The story’s been compared to Spring Breakers countless times, and aesthetically, the trailer does feel reminiscent of Harmony Korine’s film.
Zola first premiered at Sundance in 2020, generating plenty of buzz and critical acclaim. It’s written by Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris with Bravo directing. No premiere date has been revealed yet, but A24 announced it’s coming this summer.