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SYFY WIRE Cocaine Bear

Still laughing at the plot of 'Cocaine Bear'? So is the cast: 'It's so out there and bizarre'

Of course a movie like Cocaine Bear would be a blast to make.

By Matthew Jackson
(from left) Daveed (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.), Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich), Officer Reba (Ayoola Smart) and Syd (Ray Liotta) in Cocaine Bear (2022)

The title alone is enough to make Cocaine Bear one of the most anticipated movies of 2023 for a lot of fans. No matter what you think you're going to see when a film with a title like that starts rolling onscreen, you're in for something memorable, and the film's cast and crew feel exactly the same way. In a new behind-the-scenes featurette that dropped this week, even the stars of the ensemble horror-comedy were still blown away by what they were making, which bodes well for the finished film. 

"It's so out there and bizarre," star Keri Russell said in the featurette, courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes. "And the real story is out of control."

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That's the other thing about Cocaine Bear that has people excited. As improbable as it might seem, it is in fact inspired by actual events: The story of a real black bear who stumbled upon a duffel bag full of cocaine in the forest and ate pounds and pounds of the drug. What happens next is largely an invention of the film, as various people encounter the bear (and each other) in the wake of its strange meal, falling victim to a drug-fueled rampage from a four-legged beast who just plain loves cocaine.

"When I first heard about Cocaine Bear, I just remember thinking 'That's a hell of a title,'" cast member O'Shea Jackson Jr. said, expressing the same thought just about all of us had when the film was announced.

This strange melding of true events and fiction allowed the cast and director Elizabeth Banks to play in a very weird sandbox, blending the terror of being attacked by a cocaine-fueled bear with the hilarity of ... well, being attacked by a cocaine-fueled bear.

"Horror and comedy are like two sides of the same coin," Banks said. "I essentially make comedies and I put them inside of other movies, and this is a comedy inside of a horror movie."

Universal Pictures' Cocaine Bear rampages into theaters Feb. 24.

Looking for more thriller films set in remote areas? Check out A Single Shot, and 30 Miles From Nowhere, both now streaming on Peacock.