Cocaine Bear release date – when is the Ray Liotta movie out?

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: real-life Cocaine Bear preserved and displayed in Kentucky

What is the Cocaine Bear release date? The premise of the horror movie is pretty much what it says on the tin, but what makes Cocaine Bear especially interesting is that it is a movie 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.

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 story of Cocaine Bear 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

In May, Universal announced that Cocaine Bear will be released on 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 3.

One hell of a trip: Best adventure movies

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 has been in post-production.

Cocaine Bear release date: Black bear wandering

Cocaine Bear plot speculation

According to The Hollywood Reporter, who have word from insiders that Jimmy Warden penned the script on spec, the movie is a 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 — 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.

Mysterious plane crashes: Manifest season 4 release date

“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.”

Cocaine Bear release date: Cocaine B

Cocaine Bear cast

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 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.

More Ray Liotta: How to watch The Many Saints of Newark

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.