Elizabeth Banks’ upcoming movie “Cocaine Bear” has added several A-list cast members.
Keri Russell, Ray Liotta, O’Shea Jackson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Alden Ehrenreich have joined the film 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 movie is Banks’ second film for Universal Pictures after previously directing “Pitch Perfect 2” for the company. She also helmed 2019’s “Charlie’s Angels” for Sony. Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Aditya Sood are producing for Lord Miller, in addition to Brian Duffield and Banks and Max Handelman of Brownstone Productions. Robin Fisichella will executive produce. Matt Reilly, executive vice president of production, and Christine Sun, director of development, will oversee for Universal.
Production is set to begin on August 23 in Ireland.
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.” 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.”
Deadline first reported the news.