It’s been quite some time since it was announced that the viral story of Zola, a stripper who went on a wild weekend road trip, was going to be made into a movie. Zola’s story is one for the ages. When we all die from nuclear war, Zola’s story will be all that’s left; whispered across the dunes of radiated sand, carried by the poisonous fallout winds. Collider is reporting that the movie is still moving forward and has cast some of its stars.
Zola follows the crazy story of 20-year-old stripper Aziah Wellrose, whose two-day road trip to Florida involved sex, violence, and murder. Taylour Paige from VH1’s Hit The Floor will play the title role of Zola and she beat out 700 other actresses for the role, so good for her. Elvis’ granddaughter Riley Keough will play Jess, the sex worker she goes on an impromptu road trip with. Nicholas Braun is in talks to play Jess’ “doting, bipolar boyfriend” who I still feel bad for, and Colman Domingo will be playing the “charming-yet-violent pimp” who plays a major role in Zola’s tale of strippers gone wild.
A24, the company producing the movie, believe it to be “a defining and legendary entry in the deeply American road trip genre” so it’s obvious they have some high hopes for this movie. Hopefully they’re planning some sort of PR strategy for when they get inevitable blowback from people who thought Zola’s story was actually not that funny. A bunch of sex workers and their supporters were not as enamoured by Zola’s tale and saw all of the potential crimes which could have been going on. Like people think that the sex worker Riley Keough will be playing was being trafficked, which is the opposite of a great theme for a road trip comedy. Also Jarret, the guy who was dating the sex worker, has said that this story is mostly fiction and that Zola made a lot of it up.
Janicza Bravo is directing the movie written by playwright Jeremy O. Harris, Andrew Neel and Mike Roberts. James Franco was supposed to direct the movie, but after all of his bad press (some of which is hella recent) he is still expected to retain a producer credit but not much else.
They really will make anything into a movie these days won’t they. Sure, Zola’s potentially fraudulent tale of stripping gone wrong is good enough to make a movie, but my own personal harrowing Twitter story that went viral (3 re-tweets counts as viral, okay?) about that time I got stoned and ate the entire top layer of a girl’s wedding cake, was not? I mean, come on.