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#JamesFranco to Direct an Adaptation of #TheStory - The 148 Tweet #Zola Road Trip Saga

Rolling Stone/ABC News

Last November, Rolling Stone published an astounding article about a road trip that went very, very wrong. To summarise, a Hooters waitress met a stripper and agreed to go on a road trip with her, her boyfriend and her pimp (called 'Z'), and the whole thing quickly escalates. Although Aziah 'Zola' Wells, the one who recounted the story, later admitted to embellishing some details, the highlights are still pretty staggering - prostitution, kidnapping, murder, attempted suicide, it's all in there.

The story became an overnight sensation, as many famous faces registered their interest in the ongoing Twitter narrative. Nicki Minaj in particular became very invested in what was going on. Even when it first came about there was talk of a film, and now James Franco has confirmed that he will be directing said film. David Kushner, the writer of the original Rolling Stone piece, described the project as "‘Spring Breakers’ meets ‘Pulp Fiction,’ as told by Nicki Minaj,”, at least judging from the draft he's read.

This will be the first film ever made directly based on a series of tweets, near as I can figure. I imagine some might describe this as something of a watershed moment, but the circumstances are so specific that I can't imagine it happening again any time soon. Zola could have just as easily recounted the details directly to a journalist, all the Twitter angle really adds is to make the story seem a little bit more unique and contemporary.

What will be interesting to see is whether or not Twitter actually plays a role in the film. Zola didn't actually recount the full narrative until everything was said and done, which is not surprising, since most rational people don't think about jumping on Twitter while someone in close proximity is waving a gun around, or jumping out of a 4th floor window.

The more significant part of the story is the human trafficking aspect, since it's a very real issue which needs highlighting, something Zola was very intent on doing when she first tweeted the story. Zola herself tweeted about the project, expressing her excitement (which would also suggest her approval). The film will be scripted by Mike Roberts and Andrew Neel, who previously collaborated with Franco on the frat boy drama Goat and also co-wrote King Kelly, which dealt with the subject of a girl trying to get famous through webcam stripping and social media notoriety, so this should be familiar territory for them in some respects.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#JamesFranco to Direct an Adaptation of #TheStory - The 148 Tweet #Zola Road Trip Saga Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, February 06, 2016 Rating: 5

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