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‘Cocaine Bear’: The Movie Inspired by a Very Real Bear That Did a Whole Bunch of Cocaine

Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

When a film is marketed as “inspired by true events,” it’s almost never the case. (Remember all the horror movies that told us they were inspired by true events, only for the story to be loosely based on facts most of the time?) However, Cocaine Bear is actually inspired by true events. In fact, the real cocaine bear can be seen in a museum in Lexington, Kentucky. Per Wikipedia:

“The film is inspired by the real story of a 175-pound American black bear that died after ingesting a duffel bag full of cocaine in December 1985. The cocaine was dropped out of an airplane piloted by Andrew C. Thornton II, a former narcotics officer and convicted drug smuggler, because his plane was carrying too heavy a load. “

– Wikpedia

Hollywood couldn’t pass up the idea of creating a film about the Cocaine Bear—only this time it’s a thriller about a black bear that goes on a rampage. You want the details, and we’ve got them. Scroll on!

Cocaine Bear release date, plot, and trailer

The plot is very simple, folks, and it goes like this:

“In a Kentucky forest, an American black bear goes on a murderous rampage after unintentionally ingesting cocaine.”

– Universal Pictures

This upcoming thriller directed by Elizabeth Banks will be released on February 24th, 2023. The film is really straightforward in its premise, and there’s something appealing about that. Obviously, I wouldn’t be opposed to an A24 horror movie about a drug-fueled bear (if you’re reading this, hit me up). But a thriller that’s just nutty in its premise can be a lot of fun. And there’s no doubt in my mind that this movie will appeal to people.

The cast of Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear doesn’t just have a famous director—a number of well-known names make up the cast, too. This includes Keri Russell as Colette Matthews, O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Howard, Ray Liotta as Dentwood, and Alden Ehrenreich as Marty.

Joining them are:

  • Matthew Rhys
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson
  • Kristofer Hivju
  • Margo Martindale
  • Christian Convery
  • Brooklynn Prince
  • Scott Seiss
  • Isiah Whitlock Jr.
  • Shane Connellan
  • Kahyun Kim

In addition, it’s worth noting that Ray Liotta passed away in May of this year, making this one of the last roles he ever played.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a blerd writer and visual artist who loves horror, anime and all things strange. Her writing has appeared in Pink Advocate, Dread Central and more. For more, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theblackbuffy.