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Elizabeth Banks Thinks There's A Poignant Message Behind Cocaine Bear's Wild Story

Few trailers this side of "M3GAN" have received such enthusiastic responses as "Cocaine Bear" has. While the calendar year seems to be increasingly packed with superhero stories and massively budgeted blockbuster spectacles, it seems like what everyone really wants is a mash-up of bloody violence and some campy tongue–in–cheek humor to help the medicine go down.

Of course, if that sounds like your prescription, then "Cocaine Bear" definitely fits the bill. The story of a black bear that ingests several pounds of cocaine after a drug shipment is tossed out of a moving plane into the forest below; the movie obviously takes some big liberties with the true story that inspired it.

Still, something tells us that historians won't be doing any deep dives on this one. All the same, despite the intentionally silly nature of a story like "Cocaine Bear," director Elizabeth Banks had some poignant observations and ruminations on the real-life events that inspired it.

Banks feels sympathy for the bear that inspired the film

Elizabeth Banks sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss her upcoming comedy-horror film, "Cocaine Bear," and why she thinks there's a lot more to the story than just goofy laughs and bear-related hijinks. "I felt a lot of sympathy for the bear," she said. "Like, wow, this bear — which, in real life, ended up dead after eating all this coke — ended up being sort of collateral damage in this War on Drugs. And I just thought, 'well, then this movie can be a revenge story for the bear.'" There's definitely something to that which audiences seem to find cathartic, as stories about big game hunters being taken out by their prey are regularly applauded on social media.

"And it just gave me a point of view and a purpose for making it. Like, there's a real message here: We should not f*** with nature; nature will win," Banks concluded. While it seems likely that the titular animal in "Cocaine Bear" will probably wind up dead by the end of the film, much like its real-life counterpart, surely audiences are going to be lining up to see the black bear get bloody satisfaction first.

The movie will be out in theaters on February 24, 2023.