In 2015, the entire Internet was enthralled by the tale of Aziah "Zola" Wells, who tweeted out the saga of a road trip to Florida with a stripper, her boyfriend, and a pimp. Twitter was in a tizzy over gems about Hooters, jumps out of four story windows, and murder.
The story, later confirmed and fleshed out in an extensive Rolling Stone feature, was picked up by A24, and after initially attaching James Franco to direct, Lemon director Janicza Bravo took over the project (Bravo, who also directs episodes of tv shows like Atlanta and Love, is brilliant). And after months of searching, the production team finally found its Zola.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that newcomer Taylour Paige, recently seen in Matthew McConaughey's White Boy Rick, is set to star. "I'm at a coffee shop in L.A. and in walks this girl. I'm entranced and can't stop staring. It's the way she sits in her body. It's agency. It's self-possession... everything that drew me to telling this story," Bravo told the publication. "One year later she auditions, and I knew instantly — like, I knew it then: After seeing 700 girls, the one meant to be finally walked in."
A24 added that "Zola is an iconic, iconoclastic role, and Taylour and Janicza are exactly the people to bring the character to life. We're thrilled to be working with them on this too-real-to-be-true saga, a defining and legendary entry in the deeply American road trip genre."
Production is set to commence this fall. We can't wait.