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

Keri Russell in Cocaine Bear

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.

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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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.