‘Cocaine Bear’ Director Elizabeth Banks Says Her Mom and Aunts ‘Are Going to Lose Their Minds’ When They See the Movie
“Cocaine Bear” director Elizabeth Banks is worried about her mother seeing the horror comedy when it opens on Friday.
“I’m going to be honest with you, no one knows what to make of it when I tell them about it,” Banks told Variety at the movie’s premiere Tuesday night at Regal LA Live. “My poor mother is the least informed. She’s going to go with my aunts and they’re going to lose their minds. I told her she’s going to be mad. She will laugh and she’s going to love Margo Martindale and Isiah Whitlock Jr. and the dog. Not enough people talk about the dog, Rosette. She’ll love those parts, but she’ll close her eyes for a lot of it.”
Inspired by the true story of a bear that ate cocaine that scattered in a Florida forest when a drug trafficker’s plane crashed, “Cocaine Bear” is a gory horror comedy about a bear that goes on a killing spree while under the influence of coke. Martindale plays a park ranger and Whitlock Jr. is a detective searching for the drug dealer, played by the late Ray Liotta. Jesse Tyler Ferguson plays a conservationist while Keri Russell is a mom searching for her daughter (Brooklynn Prince) after she’s taken by the bear.
“Cocaine Bear” is completely bonkers. The audience at Tuesday’s premiere ate it up, laughing during the goriest scenes and cheering the bear on as it tore people apart and ate them alive.
Russell says she’s taking her 15-year-old son River to see the movie. “I’m taking my son and a pack of wild teenagers,” she said. “I’m taking the parents, too. They’re all into it. It’s a weird world we live in.”
I couldn’t help but ask the cast and crew about a possible sequel and the start of a “Cocaine Bear Cinematic Universe.”
“Cassowaries are crazy. It’s the most dangerous bird in the world!” said O’Shea Jackson Jr., who plays one of Liotta’s henchmen. “That would take us to Australia.”
Ferguson cracked, “I think the sequel is ‘Adderall Alligator.’ It’s a very excited Alligator and it cleans things. A very efficient alligator.”
Co-producer Christopher Miller thinks the bear should be in the sequel. “’Cocaine Bear v. Cocaine Shark’” is really good,” he said. “They’re in shallow water, like on a sandbar. I would watch that.”
Co-producer Phil Lord teased, “I will say there is a [sequel] pitch, but I won’t tell you what it is.”
Kahyun Kim plays an EMT in the film. “It definitely has to be ‘Cocaine Dolphin,’” she said. “It goes through the oceans of Korea. I have to go back to my home country.”
“I want to see ‘Cocaine Rats,’” said Aaron Holliday, who plays a high school troublemaker in the movie. “I want it to be New York City. Could you imagine? The rats outnumber the human.”
When I suggest “Crystal Meth Puppies,” Holliday laughed, “That is a combination of words I never thought I would hear in my life.”
But Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Liotta’s son, leaned into it: “The puppy has no teeth and is calling his mom from a payphone saying it’s the last time he’s going to use drugs.”
Banks said, “Puppies are too sweet. It would have to be a pack of puppies.”
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