Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Elizabeth Banks has 2 words for you: Cocaine Bear

Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

Close your eyes and picture yourself in a movie theater (while also reading this article). There’s a trailer playing on the screen, one of those old-fashioned ones where it’s just exciting words and phrases flying at the screen. Each word is more exciting than the last, and by the end of the imaginary trailer you’re practically throwing your popcorn in the air in excitement. As for the words flying at the screen, here you go:
Phil Lord. Chris Miller. Elizabeth Banks. Cocaine. A bear. Cocaine Bear. Coming to a theater near you.

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Exciting, right? Here’s the actual information, which you can just picture as a regular news article and not a grindhouse movie trailer: Phil Lord and Chris Miller (directors of The Lego Movie and producers on Into The Spider-Verse) are producing a movie called Cocaine Bear with Elizabeth Banks directing (she previously made Pitch Perfect 2 and… Charlie’s Angels). This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which says specific plot details haven’t been revealed, but the movie is based on a true story about—what else?—a bear that did a bunch of cocaine.

Here’s that story, which you can picture however you prefer: In 1985, a drug smuggler named Andrew Thornton fell to his death because he jumped out of a plane while carrying “too heavy a loud while parachuting.” That load was presumably drugs, because before his death he dropped a bunch of cocaine out of a plane somewhere over Georgia, and as you can probably guess from context clues, that cocaine was later found by a bear (specifically a 175-pound black bear). The story stops being fun after that point, because bears aren’t supposed to eat bags of cocaine, but that doesn’t mean Cocaine Bear isn’t one hell of a concept for a movie. These details come from a New York Times story that is (hilariously) one single paragraph long, so it’ll be interesting to what kind of movie this ends up being, but all we need to know is that it has Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Elizabeth Banks, a bunch of cocaine, and a bear.