Elizabeth Banks to direct new thriller ‘Cocaine Bear’, based on bizarre true life story

It's the real life story of a bear who wolfed down 70 pounds of cocaine

Elizabeth Banks is set to direct a new movie focusing on the incredible true-life story of a black bear who ate 70 pounds of cocaine.

Cocaine Bear is set to be produced by The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and is inspired by the infamous true story that unfolded in Kentucky in 1985.

When investigators found the animal’s corpse, they were under no illusions about the cause of its death – with the 175 pound animal found next to a duffel bag that had been hurled stuffed from a drug smuggler’s plane while stuffed with cocaine.


The drugs, which had an estimated value of $15 million, was thrown out of an airplane in by smuggler Andrew Thornton, who was mid-way through dropping large quantities of coke across Georgia.

But Thornton’s mission took a turn for the worst when he jumped out of the plane and his parachute failed to open – with his body landing in a neighbourhood driveway in Knoxville.  Thornton had had $4,500 on him at the time – prompting authorities to launch an investigation that eventually led back to the titular bear.

As The Independent reports, the bear’s corpse was eventually stuffed and put on display at the Kentucky Fun Mall – where it remains on display to this day.

While the exact plot details of Banks’ film are yet to be revealed, it marks the first time that the stranger-than-fiction story has made its way to the big screen.


The movie is based on an untitled script written by Jimmy Warden and may begin shooting this summer, backed by Universal Pictures.

Banks’ last effort behind the camera came in 2019’s Charlie Angels reboot, which received a three-star review upon release.