What happens when a bear consumes cocaine dropped from the skies over Knoxville, Tennessee? We’re all about to find out with the Elizabeth Banks-directed film Cocaine Bear. The movie is filled with an all-star cast, including Keri Russell (The Americans, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), and Ray Liotta (Shades of Blue, Marriage Story), that will come into contact with the bear and try to make it out alive.
Based on the real story from Georgia in the 1980s, the movie will follow the tale of a bear being high on cocaine and the effects the drug has on the animal. The film is taking some artistic liberties, as the original cocaine bear died of a drug overdose from its consumption. There is no reported rampage, but Cocaine Bear imagines what one could’ve looked like if the bear hadn’t passed away and had instead been high.
Though not out until February of next year, Universal has released a trailer, so viewers can see what the movie has in store for them. Let’s break down everything the trailer shows us about the bear and its experience with drugs.
The trailer makes it clear this movie isn’t for the squeamish. After consuming what looks like an entire brick of cocaine by swallowing it whole and snuffing undisclosed amounts based on open packages found throughout the woods, the bear has unbridled energy that it channels into one thing: the people that are unfortunate enough to come across it.
After swallowing the package, it seems to take a minute to kick in. It scoots around on its back before turning into the hyperactive animal seen in the rest of the trailer. It immediately goes after the three men surrounding it, with a scene showing it simply collapsing on top of one of them. Could that be when the bear is coming down from the high?
The bear has no mercy as it attacks. The opening sequence of the trailer shows a bloodied cabin or ranger station. EMS individuals called to the scene are greeted by the carnage, a bloodied hand print and blood spatter covering the walls. However, the bear is still in the building and comes crashing through a door, landing on top of a medic.
This is one of many instances of gruesome kills the trailer hints at. There are flashes of someone’s leg being disconnected from their body, someone (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) with a makeshift bandage covering their hand and wrist (though this individual has the bandage while the bear is swallowing the drugs, so the cause of the potential missing hand is still to be determined), and hikers being dragged off into the bushes.
While under the influence of the drug, the bear’s already phenomenal physical power seems to be amplified to the max. The trailer shows it jumping through the air to tackle a hiker, making an impressive jump into an ambulance, and other physical feats that aren’t common for bears in nature typically.
Assumptions can’t be made that the drugs are the sole reason the bear is acting in such an unnatural way, but it can’t be ruled out, especially with the amount it consumed. Based on different reactions in the trailer, it’s clear no one is used to the bears of that area acting in such a way or being able to commit feats like that. Beth (Kahyun Kim), a medic, even asks her partner, “what the f*** is wrong with that bear” as they try to outrun it in their ambulance.
The bear isn’t the only story being told. Colette (Keri Russell) is searching for her daughter in the woods. It isn’t revealed if her daughter is missing or has run off to a spot she wasn’t supposed to go. One thing is for sure, though: if she’s in the woods, her chances of not running into the bear are next to none based on the ground the animal is covering.
It looks like Colette, an individual played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and a parker ranger or sheriff (Margo Martindale) go out to try and find Colette’s daughter and come across another child (Christian Convery) hiding out from the bear in a tree. While the mother and found child appear to get away, the park ranger/sheriff and Ferguson’s character may not be as lucky. The trailer doesn’t hint at whether Colette finds her daughter and if they make it out of the forest alive.
Need something to watch while you wait for Cocaine Bear to hit a theater near you? Check out some horror films that also use drugs as a plot device.