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Cocaine Bear release date, plot, cast, and more

Elizabeth Banks is on board to direct the thriller movie which is based on a true story — here's what we know about the Cocaine Bear release date

Cocaine Bear release date: The bear from Cocaine Bear

What is the Cocaine Bear release date? The premise of the film is pretty much what it says on the tin, but what makes Cocaine Bear especially exciting is that it is based on a true story. In 1985, a drug smuggler flung a duffel bag filled with more than 70 pounds of cocaine out of a plane, and a bear found it.

Straddling Georgia and Tennessee state lines is the Chattahoochee National Forest, which, among other things, is home to the American Black Bear. When one bear was found to be dead, next to him were the remnants of a duffel bag and cocaine worth $15 million. The animal’s cause of death was unmistakable, and since then, Cocaine Bear has gone down in history as an urban legend.

Now, Charlie’s Angels and Pitch Perfect 2 director Elizabeth Banks has stepped in to bring the this movie based on a true story to the big screen with the help of writer Jimmy Warden. The Cocaine Bear release date isn’t too far away, so here’s everything we know about the thriller movie.

Cocaine Bear release date

Universal announced that the Cocaine Bear release date will be February 24, 2023. 

This puts the monster movie in close competition with The Marvels and Dungeons and Dragons. While the Marvel movie is being released shortly before Cocaine Bear on February 17, Dungeons and Dragons is to be released shortly after on March 31 in the US.

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Despite the real-life event taking place in the US, filming for Cocaine Bear took place in Wicklow, Ireland, between August and October 2021. Since then, the film moved into post-production.

Cocaine Bear release date: the poster for Cocaine Bear


Cocaine Bear plot

The Cocaine Bear plot will see a bear ingest a whole load of cocaine and go on a drug-fuelled rampage. Apparently the film is set to be “a unique bear-driven horror-comedy — with heart.”

Industry insiders cited by THR claim that Cocaine Bear was pitched to Universal as a mix between Good Boys — the R-rated comedy movie following the outrageous exploits of a group of teenage boys — and The Revenant.

In May 2022, Deadline set out a clearer synopsis for the movie based on a true story — although details about the characters are still slim. “Cocaine Bear is inspired by the true story of a drug runner’s 1985 plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it,” the synopsis reads.

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“The movie 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.”

Director Elizabeth Banks added in a new New York Times interview, “It’s a fun conversation piece inspired by this insane true event from 1985 and an opportunity to cut through a little noise. ”

Cocaine Bear release date: The bear from Cocaine Bear


Is there a Cocaine Bear trailer?

Yes, there is a Cocaine Bear trailer!

“The bear, it did f**king cocaine.” As those immortal lines are uttered in the teaser, as the titular bear tears a door off its hinges and goes on a drug-fuelled rampage, it quickly becomes clear that this movie will be everything you wanted it to be and more.

As drug smugglers in the forest try and recover the remains of their goods, we also have unsuspecting folk running for their lives as everyone screams about how this bear noshed an obscene amount of drugs. Basically, think of it as Sharknado but with more bears. And cocaine.

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Who is in the Cocaine Bear cast?

If a bear ingesting a load of cocaine wasn’t enough to sell it to you, the Cocaine Bear cast will star legendary actor Ray Liotta, who sadly passed away after filming.

Although there are a lot of famous names and faces attached to the project, it is unclear if any of them will be playing people actually involved in the real-life 1985 incident.

Based on Deadline’s synopsis, it seems likely that Andrew Thornton, the drug smuggler in question who died after his plane parachute failed, will be a real-life person portrayed in the movie — but it is unclear which actor will be playing him.

In fact, it is unclear who any of the actors will be portraying in the horror movie — but we assume that the main cast members will consist of a motley crew of people trying to escape the bear’s cocaine-fuelled rampage. We know that Ray Liotta is set to appear in the film post-humously, after filming on Cocaine Bear wrapped prior to his death in May 2022.

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He will be joined by Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, Alden Ehrenreich,  O’Shea Jackson Jr, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kristofer Hivju, Kahyun Kim, Christian Convery,  Brooklynn Prince, and Scott Seiss.

If movies about rampaging animals are your thing, check out our guide on how to watch all the Jurassic Park movies in order. Or, if you are after more exciting releases, here are all the new movies coming in 2023, like the Barbie movie release date.