How Zola Went From Twitter Thread to Major Movie

Jeremy O. Harris talks about adapting 148 tweets into a screenplay that feels like the internet.


Episode Notes

Zola, a new movie based on the infamous Twitter thread by Aziah “Zola” Wells King, follows a part-time stripper who goes on a weekend trip to Florida with a new friend to make money, and how things quickly escalated until their friendship fell apart. On today’s episode, Rachelle and Madison talk to Tony-nominated playwright and screenwriter Jeremy O. Harris about how he and director Janicza Bravo translated the 148-tweet saga into a feature-length film, the scene that almost made members of the crew quit, and why he considers Zola’s tale to be akin to Homer’s epic poetry.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John.


About the Show

Join Madison Malone Kircher and Rachelle Hampton twice a week as they gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back. All episodes


  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.