New ‘Cocaine Bear’ posters stirs up as many memes as expected

Cocaine Bear Poster
Image via Universal Pictures

Elizabeth Banks, who made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, has signed on to helm one of the weirdest projects to come from Universal Pictures in a long time. For the uninitiated among us, all the way back in December 1985, there was an incident involving a a 175-pound American black bear who was found dead in a forest in northern Georgia, where it presumably ingested a duffel bag full of cocaine, which was dropped by airplane pilot Andrew C. Thornton III, a convicted drug smuggler. The bear in question is currently on display at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky.

And then, Cocaine Bear was born. Banks is set to direct the thriller, which draws inspiration from the shocking true story. The term “Cocaine Bear” was coined by Coleman Larkin in 2015. In a rather unconventional story, Cocaine Bear will star Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alden Ehrenreich, Matthew Rhys, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kristofer Hivju, Christian Convery, Brooklynn Prince, Margo Martindale, and the late Ray Liotta, who died earlier this year. It will be the first film starring Liotta to be released after his death. According to the synopsis, the aforementioned Cocaine Bear will go “on a murderous rampage after unintentionally ingesting cocaine,” which are events that don’t line up with the real story and seem to be fabricated for the purposes of dramatization.

The announcement of Cocaine Bear was confirmed by the official Twitter account, which unveiled the a striking neo-noir-esque poster with contrasting blacks and whites in the bear’s fur and the cocaine. The poster was cleverly captioned “Don’t coke the bear,” which is a fun play on words derived from the common phrase, “Don’t poke the bear.”

Naturally, a story as bizarre and unbelievable as this one warrants some hilarious memes. Who’d have though that the modern age of cinema would be depicting the unusual events of a black bear ingesting cocaine to entertain and inspire audiences? It isn’t exactly conventional, but it’s a project that Banks will be forever remembered for — regardless of whether it’s actually good or bad. Some of the wildest memes really encapsulate the mass confusion and surprise that swept social media following the announcement. Here’s just a handful that really tickle the funny bone.

Let’s hope Banks’ turn as director results in an absolute masterpiece, just so we can all embrace history at the 2023 Oscars after it’s announced that Best Picture goes to a thriller called Cocaine Bear.