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SYFY WIRE Back to the Future

Great Scott! Did You Know Cocaine Bear Contains a Sly Back to the Future Easter Egg?

Sequel idea: Doc and Marty go back in time to prevent the bear from doing cocaine.

By Josh Weiss
Cocaine Bear (2023); Michael J Fox in Back To The Future (1985)

Elizabeth Banks is still preoccupied with 1985, and it's not hard to see why. It was a landmark year for popular culture: Tears for Fears released Songs from the Big Chair, television audiences were introduced to the Thundercats, the Nintendo Entertainment System hit American storefronts, and young Marty McFly drove back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by Doc Brown.

As such, there was no way Banks could possibly ignore the cinematic impact of Back to the Future when she signed on to direct Cocaine Bear (now streaming on Peacock), a gonzo dark comedy set in 19...19...1985. Sitting down with Collider for an interview about the drug-fueled project inspired by a real-world incident, the filmmaker confirmed that the movie does contain a small tribute to the Twin Pines Mall (or Lone Pines Mall depending on what timeline you live in), ground zero for Doc and Marty's sci-fi saga.

"We have those kinds of nods all over, little Easter eggs throughout the movie. That was one of them," she admitted, going on to add that the movie was partly meant to serve as a love letter to her 12-year-old self. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the bedroom of Dee Dee (Brooklyn Prince), one of the human protagonists terrorized by the eponymous predator.

For More on Cocaine Bear:
Cocaine Bear Producer Thought Script Was So Wild It Would Only Work as a Writing Sample
Cocaine Bear's Elizabeth Banks on Possibility of Directing a Sequel
How Matthew Rhys Ended Up in That Hilarious, Shocking Cocaine Bear Cameo

"She basically had my room," Banks continued. I had that Papasan chair that everybody had with the afghan blanket that your grandma knit for you. But more importantly, she's obsessed with Madonna, which I was also. There's a poster of Madonna on her wall wearing black overalls and a white T-shirt and the rubber bracelets, and then Brooklynn [Prince] wears that outfit throughout the movie. So it's little things like that, you know?"

In addition, the film also pays homage to Wet Hot American Summer (another '80s-set comedy and one of Banks' first feature films as an actor) with the use of "Jane" by Jefferson Starship at the very top of the runtime. A connection to the cult classic hijinks at Camp Firewood? What's not to love about this movie?!

Cocaine Bear is now streaming on Peacock.