Cocaine Bear is a 2023 movie release on its way to our hearts, given the movie’s inspirations. Director Elizabeth Banks, who is of course famous for her acting work, found her third movie to be behind the camera with Cocaine Bear. It’s her first horror movie and wow, did she look to the greats to tell the story of a bear who consumes 70 pounds of coke and goes insane any human nearby.
When CinemaBlend attended a Los Angeles event for Cocaine Bear earlier this week, Elizabeth Banks shared some insight into what to expect from the upcoming horror movie, aside from that wild NSFW Cocaine Bear trailer that just dropped online. In her words:
Banks has first-hand experience working with Sam Raimi on the Spider-Man movies as Betty Brant, even though she did screen test for MJ Watson. Though, she’s definitely thinking about his famed work in horror on things like the Evil Dead movies. The actor/director spoke about playing homage to Raimi along with filmmakers like Halloween’s John Carpenter and another all-time great. As she continued:
It’s true. No part of me wants to see a shark when I go to the beach, but if I saw a bear on a trip to a national forest, part of me really wants to pet it. Elizabeth Banks implemented this element of Cocaine Bear thanks to looking at two of the most iconic movies of all time: Jaws and Jurassic Park. All that, and she told us that she and the cast all watched 1986 coming-of-age classic, Stand By Me before they began rolling cameras on the horror comedy. Despite Cocaine Bear looking like a really funny and vulgar horror movie, it sounds like it has a lot of dimensions to it.
Additionally, during the event, Elizabeth Banks showed us a full scene from Cocaine Bear, which she likened to Fast and Furious because of the car chase elements. It’s produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who have teased that it's “insane” too. Given the mood board of inspirations that make up this movie, including it being also inspired by an actual bear who ingested cocaine in the ‘80s after a drug drop gone wrong, I’m certainly all in on Elizabeth Banks next directorial effort.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.