It’s going down: Taylour Paige to play ‘Zola’ in film of viral Twitter saga

Production is set to begin In the fall.

Taylour Paige TheGrio
Actress Taylour Paige writes messages of positivity on the Post-it Brand Wall in support of DoSomething.org at VH1's 2013 Do Something Awards at Avalon on July 31, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for VH1)

The infamous Internet saga about a stripper named Zola that went viral in 2015 will soon be an A24 Indie studio film, starring up-and-coming actress, Taylour Paige, cast in the starring role, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Then-20-year-old Aziah Wells, aka Zola, went viral in a Twitter thread in 2015 when she chronicled a wild 48-hour escapade with an exotic dancer, the dancer’s boyfriend and a pimp. The gripping, funny and suspenseful story was read by many celebrities and co-signed by Ava DuVernay and Missy Elliott.

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“That Zola story wild,” tweeted Elliott at the time. “Ended up reading the whole thing like I was watching a movie on Twitter.”

Well, now Elliott and others can actually watch the movie, Zola, about a stripper that took Twitter by storm.

Janicza Bravo, who has directed episodes of AtlantaLove and Dear White People and made her feature debut in 2017 with Sundance feature Lemon, will direct the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Paige was found after Bravo and A24 conducted a nationwide search for the main role.

“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 says in an interview in The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Paige was in Matthew McConaughey‘s White Boy Rick.

Bravo wrote the screenplay with playwright Jeremy O. Harris, Andrew Neel and Mike Roberts based on Wells’ life and background from the Rolling Stonemagazine piece “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted.”

Adds A24, according to The Hollywood Reporter: “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 on Zola is set to begin in the fall.

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