There are many movies to look forward to this year, but perhaps the best title of them all Cocaine Bear. The comedy/thriller was directed by Elizabeth Banks and is based on the true story of a black bear who ate an incredible amount of cocaine. Sadly, the bear didn’t survive his drug experimentation, but he did earn a name in Lexington, Kentucky, where you can see him. In fact, the bear has been nicknamed “Cokey,” which Banks recently shared Total movie (through CBR).
“Everyone agreed on the tone and levels of gore and the bear,” Banks explained. “That’s been the longest lead time, putting together sequences with Cokey – [that’s] how we refer to the bear – and get Cokey all set for the public.
Who’s playing Cocaine Bear?
Cocaine Bear stars Keri Russell (The Americans), Emmy winner Margo Martindale (The Americans), Emmy winner Ray Liotta (The Many Saints of Newark), Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight from Compton), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern family), Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones), Kahyun Kim (American Gods), Christian Convery (Sweet tooth), Brooklyn Prince (The Florida Project) and newcomer Scott Seiss.
How did Cokey get so much cocaine?
“Cokey” took an extreme amount of cocaine after a drug runner’s plane crashed in 1985. Andrew C. Thornton II was a former narcotics officer and convicted drug smuggler, who threw a duffel bag of cocaine from his plane because his plane was overweight. Thornton planned to retrieve the bag himself by parachuted from the plane, but the parachute malfunctioned and Thornton died. Three months later, a 175-pound black bear was found dead in Georgia next to 40 opened plastic containers of cocaine. The story became popular in the region and the animal itself was taxidermied and is still displayed at the Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky, where you can also purchase “Cokey the Bear” merchandise. Of course, the film takes a lot of liberties.
I felt a lot of sympathy for the bear,” said Banks OW about the real Cocaine Bear. “Like, wow, this bear — who ended up dead in real life after eating all this coke — ended up being kind of a collateral damage in this War on Drugs. And I just thought, ‘Well, then this movie could be a revenge story for the bear.’ And it just gave me a point of view and purpose to make it. There’s a real message here: ‘We shouldn’t mess with nature, nature will win.'”
Cocaine Bear will hit theaters on February 24.