‘Cocaine Bear’: Elizabeth Banks Teams With Phil Lord & Chris Miller On Film About Real-Life Drugged-Out Bear

Cocaine Bear.  It’s a bear that’s high on cocaine. Kindof a funny visual in your brain, right? Like it’s something you’d expect to see in a Hangover movie or a Seth Rogen stoner comedy. Well, instead you’re getting it from the trio of Elizabeth Banks, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller. And you know what? This cocaine bear was real.

Deadline reports Elizabeth Banks will direct Cocaine Bear, with Lord and Miller producing. The film is based on actual events that took place in Kentucky in 1985, when a bear swallowed a cache of cocaine thrown from a plane by Andrew Thornton, a former Lexington narcotics agent who became a drug smuggler. Thornton died while parachuting out of the plane carrying $15M in cocaine over Knoxville.

The bear died of a fatal drug overdose. Then was found and preserved via taxidermy. For real. Here’s a photo of him:

The film is being described as “a character-driven thriller” and not the raucous drug comedy it sounds like it should be.

Banks most recently helmed the Charlie’s Angels reboot, and made her debut with Pitch Perfect 2. Lord and Miller are currently working on a sequel to Into the Spider-Verse, along with numerous other projects.  They previously produced 2017’s indie comedy Brigsby Bear, which I promise you is not a Cocaine Bear prequel.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.