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Viral Twitter Story ‘Zola’ to Become Movie & We. Can’t. Wait.

Viral Twitter Story 'Zola' to Become Movie & We. Can't. Wait.
Janicza Bravo (left) & Aziah Wells King (right)
By Sharee Silerio
Have you ever read a story so tantalizing, mysterious and real that you
couldn’t stop reading it? Have you found a Twitter thread so interesting that
you had to follow it from beginning to end? If not, then your chance to
experience both lies in “Zola” a viral Twitter story written by Aziah Wells
King that will soon become a movie.


Recently, it was announced
that Janicza Bravo, director of film ‘Lemon,’ the Juneteenth episode of Atlanta; and the Dear White
season two episode Chapter
IX (road trip), will direct the
film based on Wells’ account for entertainment company A24, who has produced
films such as Moonlight and Hereditary.
In the fall of 2015, by way of 140 or so tweets, Wells, an exotic dancer,
tells us about the time she,
aka Zola, went on a road trip to Florida with her friend Jessica, and soon
learns that the people she’s relying on to get her back home safe are really an
oblivious prostitute; a clueless boyfriend; and an angry internet pimp named “Z.”
The tale not only captured our five senses, but our favs like Missy
Elliott, Ava Duvernay, KeKe Palmer and Solange, too.

The movie script will be written
by Andrew Neel and Mike Roberts and will be based on Rolling Stone’s 2015
article Zola
Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted
which reveals that the real-life “Z” was charged with sexual assault, sex trafficking
and battery charges among others.
Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa will produce the tale for Killer
Films, James Franco and Vince Jolivette will produce for Rabbit Bandini
Productions and Gia Walsh and Kara Baker will produce for Gigi
Bravo directing the film is great news, because it was originally
reported that Franco (127 Hours, The Disaster Artist) would do so. It’s
not only refreshing to see a black woman bringing a story by and about a black
woman to life, but earlier this year, allegations
that Franco sexually exploited multiple women make his involvement with any project
focused on women problematic.
I’m sure that Bravo will do an amazing job, using her experience and
knack for storytelling to not only bring Wells’ words to life, but express the
realities of sex trafficking in America, including how it can happen. There are
a few lessons in Zola’s story, but one thing is for sure: We should never be
afraid to speak (or write) our truth.

Are you excited for this movie?!
Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV
writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis
, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and
TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for,
relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling.
Review her freelance portfolio at then
connect with her on Facebook,
and Twitter.

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