James Franco to Direct ‘Zola’ Stripper Movie Based on Twitter Saga

James Franco Zola Stripper Movie

James Franco, Andrew Neel and Killer Films are developing a movie based on stripper Azia “Zola” Wells’ saga of a wild road trip to Florida with Franco directing.

The project is based on David Kushner’s story for Rolling Stone, published in November and titled “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted.”

Franco will direct from a script by Neel and Mike Roberts. Franco and Vince Jolivette are producing through their Rabbit Bandini Productions with Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa, and Gigi Films’ Gia Walsh and Kara Baker.

Kushner’s story was billed as an exclusive account of Wells’ 148-tweet about her October road trip to Florida with her friend Jessica, Jessica’s boyfriend Jarrett, and Jessica’s violent Nigerian pimp “Z.”

The first tweet read, “Okay listen up. This story long. So I met this white bitch at Hooters…” The tweets include a hustler getting murdered and Jarrett leaping from a four-story window.

“It reads like ‘Spring Breakers’ meets ‘Pulp Fiction,’ as told by Nicki Minaj,” Kushner observed.

Franco, Neel and Killer Films most recently collaborated on fraternity hazing drama “Goat,” which starred Nick Jonas and was produced by Franco with Neel directing.  The film premiered at Sundance and sold last week to Paramount Home Media.

CAA, which represents Franco, Neel, Killer Films, and Kushner, will represent the film’s domestic distribution rights.

Franco’s directing credits include “In Dubious Battle,” “As I Lay Dying” and the upcoming “The Disaster Artist.”

Walsh previously executive produced “The Fixer,” starring Franco and produced by Rabbit Bandini.

Franco is also represented by Untitled Entertainment and Sloane Offer; Neel is also represented by Washington Square Films. Kushner is repped by Eric Robinson and Shari Smiley of Gotham Group.


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  1. By the time they finish with the film, it will be like Grease meets Happy Days mixed with Orange County Housewives.

  2. huh says:

    Who reps Zola?! It’s her story…

  3. Kyle says:

    This story is what is passing for movie quality stories? It was so bad and a rip off of equally bad stories like Spring Breakers, ID channel murder stories and Reddit confessions. Actually, I have read more intriguing stories on Reddit than the dribble that was on Twitter as a “stripper” saga. Can we please bring real story telling back into the lexicon of the movie making landscape.

    • Eyeroll says:

      Except the girl probably doesn’t go on reddit or know of these mostly anglo saxon sites/movies/channels you speak of. It was her story, that was verified to be mostly true. Then in comes Hollywood to swoop in and whitewash the whole story. Did I really just read suggestions for Kate Upton to play Zola? SMH.

    • Ace says:

      Wait wat1?!?!?

  4. 85wzen says:

    Can this man do any wrong? I think not!

  5. Gorf Fangleberry says:

    James DiFranco has 127 Hours to make up his mind… Kate Upton or Kate Mara who best fits the Zola who drinks Coke-ah-Cola role? What about Petra the Pepsi Supermodel?

    • Rue says:

      If Zola isn’t involved in telling this story, it’s going to bomb. Her language was what made it interesting and when people realise it’s been co-opted by a group of white guys and she’s not getting a penny it’s going to become a scandal that makes the Interview look like a good idea.
      Will people never learn?

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