Cocaine Bear True Story — What to Know About the 1985 Events Behind the Shocking New Movie

Note: Some language and visuals in this trailer may be NSFW.

The trailer for director Elizabeth Banks' movie Cocaine Bear shows a violent, comedic tale inspired by a decades-old true story.

Starring Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, Margo Martindale, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson and the late Ray Liotta, the movie is touted as being "inspired by true events."

While the movie depicts a murderous bear running amuck after accidentally ingesting a bag of cocaine and getting into increasingly violent confrontations with locals, the real-life animal appeared to harm no one but itself after it reportedly came across drugs in Georgia in 1985.

An Associated Press article from Dec. 22, 1985, reported that investigators found a "ripped-up shipment" of cocaine that a smuggler had dropped out of a plane in a duffel bag. The bag and the cocaine shipment were located near the remains of a black bear that was estimated to have been dead for about four weeks.

"The bear got to it before we could, and he tore the duffel bag open, got him some cocaine and [overdosed]," a Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesperson told the AP at the time.

"There's nothing left but bones and a big hide," they added of the bear, which was said to weigh over 150 lbs.

RELATED: See Ray Liotta in Wild Cocaine Bear Trailer About Killer Animal on Drugs — Inspired by a True Story

ray liotta, cocaine bear
ray liotta, cocaine bear

The bear in Cocaine Bear (2023)

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The bear's remains were found in Fannin County, Georgia, about 80 miles north of Atlanta and near the state's border with Tennessee. The duffel bag and 40 packages of cocaine were "ripped open and scattered over a hillside" when investigators discovered the scene, according to the AP.

Georgia officials told reporters at the time that the dead bear, and potentially more animals, ate "several million dollars" worth of cocaine from the bags, which were valued at more than $20 million in total.

According to the AP, GBI agents had located roughly 75 lbs. of cocaine in duffel bags "less than 100 yards" from the scene of the bear's death just weeks earlier in November.

The agents had been searching for cocaine dropped by former Kentucky narcotics investigator Andrew Thornton, who fell to his death attempting to parachute while carrying 77 lbs. of drugs with him.

Thornton, whom The New York Times described as "a convicted drug smuggler" in an article dated Dec. 23, 1985, fell to his death in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Sept. 11, 1985. An unmanned airplane later identified as Thornton's crashed in North Carolina roughly one hour later, according to the AP.

A stuffed version of the so-called "Cocaine Bear" is on display at a mall in Kentucky.

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In September, director Banks, 48, described Cocaine Bear as "a fun conversation piece inspired by this insane true event" during an interview with The New York Times.

"[The movie is] an opportunity to cut through a little noise," she said. "The title alone! I was clear with Universal. I made them make sure that we could use the title in America. I was like, 'I don't want to direct this if you're going to tell me it's going to be called Bear in the Woods.'

Cocaine Bear is in theaters Feb. 24.