A24 turns viral 'Zola' Twitter thread into a book to promote upcoming film

The entertainment company turned the famous social media tale into movie, and now its promotion is going hardbound

Published On
Jun 17, 2021

Editor's Pick

In October 2015, A'Ziah “Zola” King recounted on Twitter the “long but full of suspense” story of why she “& this bitch here fell out” in a thread of 148 tweets. The thread recounted the saga of King’s shocking trip to Florida with a woman she met the day before at Hooters and how it quickly spiraled into a mess of crime and deception.

“#TheStory,” as fans called it, instantly went viral, garnering attention from celebrities, the media and Hollywood.

Rumors of film versions of King’s story, including a Lifetime adaptation, echoed across the internet until 2018, when A24 officially announced production for the film, directed by Janicza Bravo, would begin that year. Originally set to premiere in 2020, “Zola” pushed its theatrical release due to the pandemic. Now slated for June 30, A24 has been rebuilding hype for the film, most recently by dropping a hardbound book version of “#TheStory.”

A video for “#TheStory” intercuts scenes of the film’s trailer with the real Zola displaying her novel. The ad’s whimsical string music, tweet sounds, stylized hearts and text, plus King’s frequent outfit changes make for a playful and flirtatious ad.

The book features a bold purple and glossy blue cover and 144 pages of what King calls “The Thotyssey,” featuring contributions by author Roxanne Gay and the film's director Bravo. It’s available on A24’s shop for $28.

A24 has long promoted its films through unique and immersive merchandise. For “The Green Knight,” which hits theaters in late July, it released a D&D-style tabletop game and a “fantasy-genre” candle with matching paper crown. For 2019’s “The Lighthouse,” the movie studio released a beard grooming kit “fit for a sea king” with beard oil and a mermaid-shaped soap bar.