Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear is an upcoming American thriller film directed by Elizabeth Banks and written by Jimmy Warden.[1][2] The film is scheduled to be released in 2022 by Universal Pictures.[3]

Cocaine Bear
Directed byElizabeth Banks
Written byJimmy Warden
Produced by
CinematographyJohn Guleserian
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
CountryUnited States


The film is based on the real story of a 175-pound American black bear that died after ingesting a duffel bag full of cocaine in December 1985. The cocaine was dropped out from an airplane piloted by Andrew C. Thornton II, a former narcotics officer and convicted drugs smuggler, because his plane was carrying too heavy a load. The bear was found in northern Georgia alongside 40 opened plastic containers of cocaine.[4][5]



In December 2019, it was announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were producing an Untitled Bear Horror Comedy project. The film was going to be co-directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, from a spec script written by Jimmy Warden.[6]

On March 9, 2021, Universal Pictures announced that the film was in development.[2][7] Alongside the initial announcement, it was confirmed that the film would instead be directed by Elizabeth Banks, and produced by Banks and Max Handelman for Brownstone Productions, who joined the producing team alongside Lord, Miller, and Aditya Sood for Lord Miller Productions, and Brian Duffield.[1]

In July 2021, Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich and Jesse Tyler Ferguson were cast to star in the film.[8] In August 2021, Margo Martindale, Kristofer Hivju, Brooklynn Prince, Christian Convery, Kahyun Kim, and Scott Seiss joined the cast.[9]


The film began principal photography on August 20, 2021, in Wicklow, Ireland.[10][11] On October 17, 2021, Banks announced that filming had wrapped.[12]


  1. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (March 9, 2021). "Elizabeth Banks To Direct 'Cocaine Bear' Thriller For Universal, Phil Lord & Chris Miller". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Galuppo, Mia (March 9, 2021). "Elizabeth Banks to Direct 'Cocaine Bear' Thriller for Phil Lord, Chris Miller". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  3. ^ Heritage, Stuart (March 10, 2021). "Cocaine Bear: the must-see and must-avoid movie of 2022". The Guardian. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  4. ^ Massie, Graeme (March 10, 2021). "True story of infamous bear who consumed duffel bag of cocaine to get Hollywood treatment". The Independent. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  5. ^ "Cocaine and a Dead Bear". The New York Times. December 23, 1985. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  6. ^ Anderton, Ethan (December 17, 2019). "Phil Lord & Chris Miller to Produce a Bear Horror Comedy Movie". /Film. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  7. ^ Welk, Brian (March 9, 2021). "Elizabeth Banks to Direct Thriller 'Cocaine Bear' at Universal". TheWrap. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 1, 2021). "Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson, Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich and Jesse Tyler Ferguson To Star in Elizabeth Banks' 'Cocaine Bear' For Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  9. ^ Grobar, Matt (August 2, 2021). "Margo Martindale, Kristofer Hivju, Christian Convery, Brooklynn Prince & Others Round Out Cast Of Elizabeth Banks' 'Cocaine Bear'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  10. ^ Osterman, Kyle (August 21, 2021). "Elizabeth Banks' Cocaine Bear Set Photo Reveals Movie's Bold Logo As Filming Starts". Screen Rant. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  11. ^ Evans, Chris (July 1, 2021). "Cocaine Bear to double Ireland for Georgia, US". KFTV. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  12. ^ Malhotra, Rahul (October 17, 2021). "Elizabeth Banks' 'Cocaine Bear', Story of Kentucky's Legendary Pablo EskoBear, Has Wrapped Filming". Collider. Retrieved October 18, 2021.

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