We have the first look at Elizabeth Banks’ upcoming directional project, Cocaine Bear. Recently, Universal Pictures released the official trailer for the dark comedy, and it’s nothing but mayhem and cocaine-fueled chaos.
The film is based on a bizarre true story that broke 37 years ago in 1985 when a 175-pound black bear in north Georgia ingested about 70 pounds of cocaine, which reportedly fell out of drug smuggler Andrew Thornton’s plane and landed in the woods.
After the bear overdosed, authorities discovered it three months later next to about 40 plastic containers of cocaine. In addition, Thornton died while trying to abandon the plane when his parachute became defective. Today, you can see the bear on display at Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, Ky.
However, the film alters the actual events, showing the bear going on a murderous rampage, killing anything and everything in its path. The bear goes on a murder spree after unintentionally eating copious amounts of cocaine.
Cocaine Bear acts as one of this late actor’s final roles
The film’s cast includes Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kristofer Hivju, Kahyun Kim, Christian Convery, Brooklynn Prince, and Scott Seiss. In addition, it stars the late Ray Liotta. It marks one of Liotta’s final acting roles and the first to be released following the actor’s unexpected death at the age of 67 in May.
Jimmy Warden also wrote the screenplay. Producers are Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Aditya Sood for Lord Miller. Banks, Brian Duffield and Max Handelman, produce the film for Brownstone Productions. Robin Fisichella and Nikki Baida also work as executive producers. The crew filmed the movie in Ireland in late 2021.
However, the movie’s true star is the CG bear, which goes from being a cute and cuddly bear to ripping people’s body parts off as it tries to find its next bump.
One disturbing scene from the film shows Ferguson’s character learning that bears can, in fact, climb trees, all while being coked up out of their mind. In another memorable moment, a character aptly describes the situation by asking, “What the f**k is wrong with that bear?”
During a recent trailer launch party, Banks, who previously directed movies like Pitch Perfect 2 and Charlie’s Angels, explained why she sees a link between her previous work and this one.
“All of my films so far, mostly, are about underdogs, and no matter who you are, if you meet a bear who is high on cocaine, you are the underdog in that situation,” Banks said. “And that presents an opportunity just for a lot of comedy and delight.”
You can catch the film when it drops for theatrical release on Feb. 24, 2023. Check out the trailer here.