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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:

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“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 horror comedy 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 horror film 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. Imagine watching a film about a A24 horror movie bear that does cocaine and becomes incredibly self-aware of his patterns of destruction. But a horror comedy that’s just as wild in its premise is plenty of fun.

Related: Cocaine Bear Is a Pre-Packaged Cult Hit on The Escapist

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
Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.

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