Watch the trailer for A24’s wild new stripper road trip movie

Starring Taylour Paige and Riley Keough, ‘Zola’ is based on an infamous 2015 Twitter thread.

by Douglas Greenwood
07 August 2020, 10:57am

God, cinema! Remember that? Like, paying money for a ticket and sitting in a dark air-conditioned room with strangers for two hours watching a film while simultaneously trying to recover precious pieces of popcorn that have escaped your grasp? Personally, it’s been so long that I do not, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to the films that are coming our way in future.

Top of our watch lists? A24’s hyped new film Zola, a stripper-slash-sex-worker road movie that was inspired by a thread of tweets posted by the film’s titular character, chronicling a whirlwind friendship that ended in disaster. And after getting strong reviews out of Sundance Film Festival, our first look at the film is finally here.

Just a short 40-second clip, in it we see Zola, played by Taylour Paige, and Stefani, played by Riley Keough, apply makeup in a mirror. “You wanna hear a story about how me and this bitch here fell out?” Zola says in a voiceover. “It’s kinda long, but it’s full of suspense.”

The original story was chronicled on Twitter back in 2015, and told the story of Zola, a stripper, and Stefani, a sex worker, joining forces to cross Florida and rack up as much cash working in strip clubs as possible. But as you can imagine, as a whole film has been born from that experience, things don’t exactly go to plan. The script was written by filmmaker Janicza Bravo, with the assistance of Jeremy O. Harris, the i-D contributor and writer of Slave Play.

The trailer ends with a series of versions of the phrase ‘Coming soon’, partly because -- yep, you guessed it -- we have absolutely no idea when this film is coming and A24 doesn't either.