Cocaine Bear is an Elizabeth Banks-directed thriller inspired by true events about… a bear on cocaine

Cocaine Bear Elizabeth Banks
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Bear with us a moment. News has dropped that Elizabeth Banks is set to direct Cocaine Bear, a thriller "inspired" by real-world events. No, we're not making this up.

Combining two of our favorite things – producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, obvs – Cocaine Bear is set to start shooting this summer, as per The Hollywood Reporter.

Brilliantly, the story is loosely (and we use the term 'loosely' loosely) based on a real incident in 1980s America. A drug smuggler, who later died because he was carrying too many drugs while parachuting as if this story couldn't get any wilder, dropped a bag of cocaine over Georgia.

Then, a 175-pound black bear consumed the cocaine and, sadly, died of a drug overdose. We imagine Cocaine Bear's fictionalized account will fill in the gaps a little more and embellish the details from the original New York Times report – and maybe give the movie a lighter ending.

No casting details, nor a release date, have been announced. Cocaine Bear is part of Phil Lord and Chris Miller's deal with Universal, which they inked back in 2019. The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producers will also have the option for future first-look pictures with the movie studio.

Elizabeth Banks, meanwhile, is still attached to direct and star in The Invisible Woman – a separate project from Elizabeth Moss' 2020 horror, The Invisible Man. But surely nothing can top Cocaine Bear, right?

For more on what's to come later this year, check out our guide to 2021's biggest movie release dates.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.