“Zola” director Janicza Bravo was determined to turn the 148 epic Twitter thread into the film she envisioned.

“If it wasn’t going to be mine…I didn’t want to ever look back and say that I hadn’t given it everything,” said Bravo at the Variety Sundance Studio, presented by AT&T.

That’s not to say the director wasn’t nervous about tackling this viral sensation and honing a narrative beyond what the public already knew. “There’s always a bit of fear when you’re sharing your ideas that perhaps you don’t get it and then somebody else sort of downloads your ideas and takes them,” Bravo explained.

But Bravo found strength from titular character herself, Zola, aka real-life person A’Ziah Wells King. “I felt sort of fearless. She is fearless, that character’s fearless. She — A’Ziah — is fearless and I approached it with that same degree of tenacity.”

“I also knew that literally no one is better for this,” she continued. “I just knew that I approached it with that confidence and I really thought that. No one was going to protect it the way that I would. And so, if they weren’t going to hire me, they were wrong and they would have had a mistake on their hands.”

Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Colman Domingo and Nicholas Braun star in the film adaptation of the Tweet saga, co-written by Jeremy O. Harris and Bravo.

Read the full interview here.

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