Elizabeth Banks’ second directorial feature for Universal, “Cocaine Bear,” has added Keri Russell, Ray Liotta and O’Shea Jackson to an already star-studded cast, including Alden Ehrenreich and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Banks took to Twitter to celebrate the announcement.
The film’s title is as far away from “clickbait” as you could imagine, as it’s actually about a real-life 175-pound bear who died of an apparent cocaine overdose. According to a 1985 New York Times article, the bear was found dead among 40 opened containers with traces of cocaine, apparently dropped from a plane by a convicted drug smuggler because he was carrying too heavy a load while parachuting.
Jimmy Warden wrote the script for the “character-driven thriller inspired by true events that took place in Kentucky in 1985.”
The film will be Banks’ second directed film for Universal after having already directed “Pitch Perfect 2”. Though this is Banks’ second directed film for Universal, she was at the helm for 2019’s “Charlie’s Angels.”
Russell is best known for starring in the TV show “The Americans” and recently appeared in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Liotta can be seen next in the “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark” and “No Sudden Move.” (Fun Fact: He was also the voice behind Tommy Vercetti in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.) Ehrenreich starred in “Hail, Cesar!” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story;” Jackson appeared in “Straight Outta Compton” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters;” and Ferguson featured in “Modern Family” and “Take Me Out.”
The film will begin shooting on August 23rd in Ireland.