After making her feature film directorial debut last year with the off-kilter, very strange Lemon, director Janicza Bravo has now signed on to direct Zola for A24. Per Collider, the project is based on David Kushner‘s Rolling Stone article, “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted”.
The epic viral story is here if you want to read it, but basically it follows a young exotic dancer who agrees to go on a road trip to Florida with a prostitute, her bipolar boyfriend and pimp. Things go awry.
Bravo will direct from a script penned by Goat duo Andrew Neel and Mike Roberts, while James Franco is one of the many producers on the film for Rabbit Baldini Productions. It had been rumoured that Franco would be removed from the project in the wake of the allegations about him that surfaced earlier this year, but he remains, but will not direct the film as expected earlier in the year.
Bravo started her career as a costume designer before going on to write and direct her own short films, which caught the eye of Killer Films; one of the production companies behind Lemon. Her TV credits also include Atlanta, Dear White People and Love, and she’s also an actress who’s coming off a major role in Lena Dunham‘s new HBO series Camping.
A casting call has recently been put out for the title role in Zola, and the producers are reportedly waiting to find their lead actress before moving on to the other roles.
Lemon was downright strange – starring Bravo’s husband Brett Gelman as a possible sociopath whose life unravels after his girlfriend dumps him – so Bravo is a great fit for an equally odd real-life story. A24 continues to take chances on lesser-known filmmakers with a unique voice, and it’s a tactic that has paid off handsomely for them thus far.