The urban stripper, pole-to-hoeing saga of Zola, the woman who tweeted a story about a trip to Florida that begat a trapping and murder-filled adventure, is getting a film adaptation courtesy of James Franco, Hollywood’s resident Jack of All Trades. Franco himself will be starring (role still TBD) and directing from a script by two of the white dudes who cowrote the Nick Jonas Sundance movie Goat. The film, adapted not directly from Zola’s 148 tweets but a Rolling Stone article about the tweets, is all but guaranteed to follow in the footsteps of 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, which garnered Academy Award nominations for its white writers and none of its black cast, producers, or director.
As a James Franco production, expect something bonkers. Like these unconventional casting choices we're suggesting right now.
David O. Russell has already realized chameleon Jennifer Lawrence can play any age he throws at her, but what if the adventurous Franco decides she maybe can play black, too? You might be thinking: Wouldn’t Rachel Dolezal or noted race-shifting actress Emma Stone be appropriate for this role? Nah. We need Hollywood ingenue Lawrence to get white people to see this movie. As you recall, Straight Outta Compton made no money!
Now that Lawrence has morphed into the starlet Hollywood needs, we can have the new, gritty actress-of-the-moment Brie Larson star opposite her in this epic. Larson is giving you Winter’s Bone–era Lawrence, plus she already showed that she can portray a woman on the verge in Room, so she’ll be perfect as the stripping, trapping, kidnap-prone Jess.
Who else to play the hapless idiot who provides the comedic relief in the film besides Franco’s best friend Seth Rogen? He was practically born to play this part, and a Franco film without Rogen is truly the metaphorical tree falling in the forest, isn’t it?
It’s also not a Franco film if he’s not starring, so of course he’ll play the drug dealer Z. If he ends up coming off too much like his Alien character in Spring Breakers, that’s because this is obviously a spiritual sequel to that film. It might even take place in the same universe! Who knows?
This is a bit of a curveball, but with her raised profile and previous experience as a schemer who’s OK with nonchalant mayhem, who else could play Z’s fiancée besides Stacey Dash? Plus, it will give the modern abolitionist Dash the opportunity to play a role in a film whose plot was devised by a black woman but ultimately produced by white people.
Guy With the Dreads
Zach Galifianakis can totally twist his mess hair into dreads, right? He’d be perfect as the dude who kidnaps Jess. He’s already played menacing before in the Ti West–esque thriller Dinner for Schmucks.