The story of the “Cocaine Bear” has been brought to the big screen by actress and director Elizabeth Banks. The horror-comedy, which stars Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Isiah Whitlock Jr., Alden Ehrenreich, Margo Martindale, and Ray Liotta in his last movie role before his death in 2022, is based on a true story that occurred in 1985 in Georgia.
In December of that year, a 175-pound black bear was found dead in a forest next to a duffel bag that had held over 70 pounds of cocaine. The bag had been torn open, and empty packets of the Class-A drug, worth about $15 million, were scattered all over the forest. The bear had eaten a significant amount of the cocaine and overdosed.
The cocaine had been dropped from a plane by drug smuggler Andrew Thornton, who had parachuted out of the plane with more drugs attached to his body. Thornton had dumped the packages from his plane when he returned from a cocaine haul in Colombia a few months earlier. Investigators followed Thornton’s plane’s flight path and found nine duffel bags full of cocaine. The bear had beaten them to the tenth bag.
The story of the “Cocaine Bear” is based on real events, but the characters in the movie are fictional. Banks wanted to create characters that people could relate to and feel like they could be real people. She fell in love with all of the character journeys and their real-life struggles, such as wanting to be closer to their daughters or going through a divorce.
The late Ray Liotta plays drug kingpin Syd, who tries to get Thornton’s stash back with the help of his son Eddie, played by Alden Ehrenreich. However, the bear did not kill anyone in real life.
The bear’s death was discovered by people looking for drugs dropped by Thornton in the air. Authorities estimated that the bear had eaten several million dollars worth of cocaine. Gary Garner of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told the news outlet that the bear had torn open the duffel bag, got some cocaine, and overdosed. All that was left of the animal were bones and a big hide.
In conclusion, the story of the “Cocaine Bear” is a strange and bizarre true story that has been brought to life on the big screen by Elizabeth Banks. The movie is based on real events, but the characters are fictional. The bear did not kill anyone in real life but ate several million dollars worth of cocaine and overdosed.