Recently, Variety confirmed Elizabeth Banks’ latest directing job will focus on the very real and totally insane story involving a bear that stumbled upon a duffel bag full of at least 75 pounds of cocaine. With the it’s curiosity piqued the 175-pound black bear tore open the bag, overdosed and died. What the upcoming Cocaine Bear will explore is the circumstances surrounding that mysterious bag and the cop-turned-drug smuggler that National Forest in Georgia.
While the bear will play a more comical role in this tale, the film will tell true story of Andrew Carter Thornton. Born into a wealthy family of horse breeders, Thornton would later go on to become an Air Force officer and Purple Heart recipient and later a narcotics police officer. In 1977 Thornton resigned from the Kentucky police force to practice law. Though he didn’t stay on the straight and narrow very long.
By 1981 he was arrested for attempting to steal guns from a naval base and for trying to traffic 1,000 pounds of marijuana. And by 1985 he was dead, found in a suburban driveway in Tennessee, wearing a parachute with 77 pounds of cocaine strapped to him. He was only 40 years old.
As Cocaine Bear is currently in the very preliminary stages of production, there is no confirmed casting yet. There is also no release date though filming is set to begin in late 2021 with a potential 2022 release.