Keri Russell in Cocaine Bear

Wait, Sorry, Is ‘Cocaine Bear’ a True Story?

We’re all obsessed with Cocaine Bear and if you’re not on board, well, get ready for a lot of nonsense from those of us who are. The minute the trailer dropped for the Elizabeth Banks-directed film, everyone had one question: What?! And that’s mainly because the promos for the movie make it clear that it was inspired by true events. Yes, that means there was a bear who did a bunch of cocaine at some point in this world.

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The true story is a little less anti-climatic—based on what we know about it, at least. And I don’t think the real bear tried to kill Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, or Ray Liotta. If it did, it’d be my enemy. But the point is that there is some truth to the outrageous story of Cocaine Bear, and that is where people are finding themselves a bit shocked.

So we’re here to talk about whether or not a bear on cocaine is something you need to worry about. Or, better yet, whether this particular bear really did just go on a binge that made it want more and more cocaine throughout the day like the movie suggests.

So did a bear get coked up and kill people?

No. The reality is that the cocaine killed the bear, but there is some mystery about what happened to the bear before it died. A New York Times piece about the bear explores whether or not this is real and, for the most part, if Cocaine Bear is based on reality.

So what we know is this: A bear did a bunch of cocaine. Not like those Wall Street bros; this isn’t the Patrick Bateman of bears. But the bear found the cocaine in the woods, ate it, and then died some hours later. What happened between the eating of the cocaine and the bear’s overdose is what we don’t know, which makes Cocaine Bear a fun piece of speculative fiction. I think if the bear did leave a murderous trail in its wake, they could have figured that out.

But it is fascinating to know that bears would eat cocaine if given the chance.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.