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Universal Sets True Story ‘Cocaine Bear’ for 2023 Release

Elizabeth Banks directs the thriller about a bear on the loose that’s hopped up on cocaine

Universal Pictures will release the new film “Cocaine Bear” on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 in theaters wide, the studio announced on Monday.

Wild as it may seem, the film is inspired by the 1985 true story of a drug runner’s plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it. Per the official synopsis, the thriller 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.

Elizabeth Banks directed “Cocaine Bear” from a screenplay by Jimmy Warden (“The Babysitter 2: Killer Queen”). The cast includes Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kristofer Hivju (“Game of Thrones”), Kahyun Kim (“American Gods”), Christian Convery (“Sweet Tooth”), Brooklynn Prince (“The Florida Project”) and newcomer Scott Seiss.

This is Banks’ third feature directorial effort after making her debut with 2015’s “Pitch Perfect 2,” followed by Sony’s 2019 reboot “Charlie’s Angels” starring Kristen Stewart.

The February release date for “Cocaine Bear” puts it one week after the release of the Marvel sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and one week before Paramount’s “Dungeons & Dragons” movie.

“Cocaine Bear” is produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”) and Aditya Sood (“The Martian”) for Lord Miller, by Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman (“Pitch Perfect” franchise) for Brownstone Productions, and by Brian Duffield (“Spontaneous”). Robin Fisichella (“Ma”) and Nikki Baida executive produced.