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Based on a viral Twitter thread, Janicza Bravo’s Sundance breakout Zola will hit theaters this summer.

By Mary Sollosi
March 31, 2021 at 09:07 AM EDT
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After a year spent stuck inside, buckle up for the wildest road trip of your life.

The first full-length (and red-band!) trailer for Janicza Bravo's Sundance breakout Zola dropped on Wednesday morning, and the two-minute clip is a tantalizing tease of "the stripper tweet-storm movie you've been waiting for" (per EW's Sundance review).

Adapted by Bravo and Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris from a 2015 viral Twitter thread tweeted by A'Ziah King, Zola stars Taylour Paige in the title role, as a waitress (and the film's narrator) who joins a new friend, Stefani (Riley Keough) on a spontaneous road trip to Florida to have some fun, make some money, and engage in general "hoeism." However, with critical assists from Stefani's boyfriend (Nicholas Braun) and "roommate" (Colman Domingo), the whole enterprise rapidly devolves into a stranger-than-fiction tale as disturbing as it is riotously funny.

"Oh, it's so f---ed," Bravo told EW with a laugh ahead of the film's Sundance premiere last January. "But that's why I liked it." Despite being a tale of sex trafficking, King's humorous perspective on the story provided "an entry point into something that maybe is too intimidating or too scary to even touch," Bravo said. "She had us all having a conversation about something that we don't usually talk about because it's pretty easy to look away from."

After falling in love with King's Twitter thread (which she considered "a very clear map for what would be a rather compelling, wild, fun, upsetting piece of comedy"), Bravo campaigned for the rights to make it, eventually winning the project alongside tastemaking distributor A24 in May 2017. In making the movie, Bravo endeavored to not only capture King's singular voice, but to honor the platform where the tale had originated: "There's definitely some homages to the screen world," she said. "It's a bit of a love letter to people who grew up with phones in their faces."  

Now, over a year after its buzzy Sundance premiere and just over four since Bravo got to work on it, the shockingly hilarious piece of Floridian surrealism (really!) is finally approaching its moment in theaters. Check out the dazzling trailer above.  

Zola
Credit: A24

Zola will be released in theaters this summer.

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