The late “Goodfellas” icon Ray Liotta stars in the upcoming horror comedy movie directed by Banks.
Elizabeth Banks isn’t snooping on the truth when it comes to how powerful “Cocaine Bear” will be.
The director was linked to the screenplay, which is based on the true story of a bear who ingested millions of dollars worth of cocaine during a botched drug smuggling operation in 1985 that ended up in a Georgia forest. The real bear died of an overdose, but in the upcoming movie Cocaine Bear, he goes on a rampage looking for his next fix. Keri Russell, Brooklynn Prince and Christian Convery are the bear’s unsuspecting victims, while O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alden Ehrenreich and Ray Liotta (in his last film role) play drug dealers. Liotta died in May 2022 at the age of 67.
“No matter who you are in life, even if you are Henry Hill [Liotta’s character in ‘Goodfellas’], if you meet a bear high on cocaine, you’re the underdog in that situation,” Banks told Entertainment Weekly of the gory action. “And that provided a lot of the comedic engine, you know? It’s just people who aren’t prepared or have the ability to deal with a bear high on coke.”
Banks added that the real “meat” of the film is the father-son dynamic between Liotta and Ehrenreich’s respective characters, with a pinch of jealousy over Jackson’s relationship with Liotta’s role.
“Everyone goes through something,” Banks shared. “It almost feels like a Coen brothers movie with a big horror element with the bear.”
The screenwriter and director of Charlie’s Angels added, “I tend to hide comedy in other genres. Pitch Perfect is a comedy within a musical. Charlie’s Angels is a comedy set in an action vehicle. This is comedy within a horror movie. I love making people laugh. I love entertaining the audience. I think laughing and screaming and squirming are all valid emotions in cinema and I know this film delivers on that level.”
But the real cocaine bear found a more tragic than comedic ending, Banks noted.
“I felt a lot of sympathy for the bear,” Banks said. “Wow, that bear – who ended up dead in real life after eating all that coke – became sort of collateral damage in this war on drugs. And I just thought: Well, then this film can be a revenge story for the bear. And it just gave me a point of view and a purpose to do it. There is a real message here: we should not mess with nature, nature will win.”
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/12/elizabeth-banks-cocaine-bear-beat-goodfellas-ray-liotta-1234793074/ Elizabeth Banks: “Cocaine Bear” would beat Henry Hill in “Goodfellas”.