Elizabeth Banks’ film, Cocaine Bear, has officially been given a theatrical release date of February 24, 2023. The upcoming thriller is based on the bizarre true story of a bear who overdosed on cocaine, and that’s not even the strangest thing to happen. The story starts with Andrew Carter Thornton II, a former paratrooper, lawyer, and police officer turned drug smuggler who was found dead in a Knoxville, TN, driveway. Thornton was heavily armed with a bulletproof vest and thousands of dollars, not to mention around 77 pounds of cocaine strapped in a duffel bag around his waist. Apparently, the man’s parachute failed as he ditched his plane, which was discovered 60 miles away.
This leads us back to the poor bear. Apparently, the 77 pounds of cocaine found on Thornton were only half of what he leaped out of the plane with. The other half landed in the woods along the path of the plane, and this is where the 175-pound black bear found and consumed the lost illegal drugs. After news and details of the incident were released to the public, the bear was nicknamed “Cocaine Bear”, and his story continued until he found a home at the Fun Mall in Kentucky.
The film is expected to showcase a lot of recognizable talents, such as Keri Russell (Extrapolations, Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker), Margo Martindale (Family Squares, American Crime Story), Ray Liotta (Hanna, Broken Soldier), Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Brave New World), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Swagger), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Pete the Cat), Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones, Beck), Kahyn Kim (American Gods, Minsky), Christian Convery (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Sweet Tooth), Brooklynn Prince (Home Before Dark, The Florida Project), and Scott Seiss.
Cocaine Bear marks the third directorial feature by Banks, with her first feature being Pitch Perfect 2 in 2015 and the Charlie’s Angels reboot in 2019. The project was created using a script written by Jimmy Warden, known for The Babysitter: Killer Queen. Producers of the film include Phil Lord, Chris Miller (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse) along with Aditya Sood (The Martian) for Lord Miller Productions. Banks and Max Handelman will serve as representatives for Brownstone Productions with Brian Duffield (Spontaneous). Executive producers are expected to be Robin Fisichella (Ma) and Nikki Baida.
With such an incredibly strange story and amazing talent behind the film, Banks‘ next feature is bound to hold audiences captivated. Cocaine Bear will hit theaters February 24, 2023.