Cocaine Bear: Trailer released for wild Elizabeth Banks film

Cocaine Bear will be released in February 2023  (Cocaine Bear)
Cocaine Bear will be released in February 2023 (Cocaine Bear)

The trailer for Elizabeth Banks's upcoming movie Cocaine Bear has been released with the tagline “Don’t coke the bear”, sending many film fans into a frenzy.

First announced in March 2021, the film is inspired by the true story of a bear that died of a cocaine overdose after coming across packets of the drug dropped by a smuggler.

In real life, the bear overdosed and died not far from where investigators later discovered the ripped-up packages of cocaine. But, in Elizabeth Banks’s retelling, the bear goes on a cocaine-fuelled killing spree instead.

Many film fans have been anticipating hearing more about the movie beyond its bizarre title for more than a year, and we finally have a trailer plus a release date.

The official trailer shows officials sent into the forest to retrieve drugs that were thrown out of an aeroplane but were found and ingested by the animal.

In subsequent violent scenes, the bear is shown going berserk, chasing people up trees and down motorways.

Watch the trailer here (warning: contains violence, drugs, and swearing).

So what’s the film about and when will we finally get to see it?

What is Cocaine Bear about?

Cocaine Bear’s premise is as wild as you’d expect: “This wild thriller finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists, and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow... and blood.”

Is Cocaine Bear based on a true story?

Cocaine Bear is inspired by a wild true story from 1985.

On September 12, 1985, the New York Times reported that 41-year-old Andrew Thornton died when his parachute failed to open.

The former narcotics officer for a Kentucky police department had joined a drug gang, and was found with 79 pounds of cocaine.

Then, on December 23, 1985, the New York Times reported that a 175-pound black bear had apparently died of an overdose of cocaine, after finding packets of cocaine belonging to the deceased parachuter.

The bear was taxidermied and bought and sold a number of times before ending up at the Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky.

An imagining of what happened between the bear discovering the cocaine and dying will be depicted in the upcoming film.

Cocaine Bear cast

The film stars the late Ray Liotta, best known for Goodfellas, and The Americans’ Keri Russell, plus Margo Martindale from BoJack Horseman, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family fame.

Alden Ehrenreich from Solo: A Star Wars Story, Straight Outta Compton’s O’Shea Jackson Jr, and Game of Thrones’ Kristofer Hivju will also feature.

Cocaine Bear release date

Cocaine Bear is set to be released in the US on February 24, 2023. The UK release date may be slightly later.