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SYFY WIRE Cocaine Bear

‘Cocaine Bear’ was a happy ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ reunion

Cocaine Bear reunited star Alden Ehrenreich with producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

By James Grebey
Cocaine Bear (2023)

Han Solo famously said, “It’s not wise to upset a Wookie,” but it’s also not wise to upset a black bear that has consumed an absurd amount of cocaine. The ferocity of furry creatures isn’t the only connection between Star Wars and Cocaine Bear. The new movie, now in theaters, also reunited star Alden Ehrenreich with producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, as they previously all worked together on Solo: A Star Wars Story before Lord and Miller were fired from the project over creative differences. 

“We love Alden,” Miller told SYFY WIRE during the Cocaine Bear press junket. “We had such a great experience working with him the first time.

“Didn’t end as well as we would have wanted,” Miller added with a smile. “But he’s such a talented, kind, and thoughtful person. When it came time to think about who would play this character, he immediately came to mind.”

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In Cocaine Bear, which Lord and Miller produced and Elizabeth Banks directed, Ehrenreich plays the son of a criminal boss (played by the late great Ray Liotta) who is in a bind after a plane crash results in tens of thousands of dollars worth of smuggled cocaine scattered across a Georgia forest. Ehrenreich’s character, Eddie, gets sent to the woods to recover the coke alongside his partner Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.). However, Eddie is recently widowed and he’s kind of a sad sack who wants to get out of the family business. And, also, there’s a bloodthirsty, 500-pound black bear that’s tweaked out of its mind after all the cocaine it consumed.

“It’s a character who has a lot of drama but also has to be funny and has to be real. It’s a lot to ask somebody to handle and to navigate that tone, and we knew from him that he would be able to do it and do it great,” Miller said of Ehrenreich. "It was really exciting to be able to work with him again because we think he’s super talented.”

RELATED: 'Cocaine Bear' first reactions hail one of the best (and craziest) movies of 2023 so far

“It was great,” added Ehrenreich, who said that the duo surprised him on the set while they were filming Cocaine Bear in Ireland (which ably stands in for the Chattahoochee National Forest where the movie is set).

“I finished my first scene and walked outside, and they were both standing there,” Ehrenreich recalled. “I hadn’t seen them in a little while. It was really kind of thrilling to be on a set with them. It’s just fun.” 

Cocaine Bear is now in theaters. Click here to purchase tickets.

Looking for more creature-based thrills in the meantime? Jordan Peele's Nope is currently streaming on Peacock.