In early 2021, it was announced that Elizabeth Banks would be directing a new comedy film that would be based on a true story about a bear that accidentally consumed a large amount of cocaine and died in the woods of Georgia. The announcement immediately caused a stir in the film industry and left many wondering how a film about a drug-addicted bear could possibly be funny.

The film, titled “Cocaine Bear,” is set to be released in 2023 and is based on the true story of a bear that was found dead in Georgia in 1985 with over 70 pounds of cocaine in its system. The bear was later dubbed “Pablo Escobear” by the media, a reference to the notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The story of Cocaine Bear begins with the bear stumbling upon a duffel bag filled with cocaine that was dropped from a plane by drug smugglers. The bear, being naturally curious, consumed the entire contents of the bag and ultimately died from a drug overdose.

While the true story of Cocaine Bear is tragic, the film adaptation takes a comedic approach to the situation. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Elizabeth Banks described the film as a “wild and funny action-comedy” and promised that it would be a “unique and surprising movie-going experience.”

The film stars actress Keri Russell as the lead character, a park ranger who becomes entangled in the drug smuggling operation responsible for the bear’s demise. The film also includes a star-studded cast, including Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jamie Camil.

Despite the film’s comedic take on a tragic event, some have expressed concern about the film’s portrayal of drug addiction and its potential to glamorize drug use. However, Banks has emphasized that the film will not be making light of drug addiction and instead aims to generate laughs through its absurdity and unexpected plot twists.

The making of Cocaine Bear has not been without its challenges. In May 2021, the film’s production was temporarily halted due to a COVID-19 outbreak on set. However, production has since resumed and the film is on track to be released in 2023.

Cocaine Bear is just one example of the growing trend of films based on true, bizarre stories. From the upcoming film about McDonald’s Monopoly fraud to the unexpected success of Hulu’s documentary series “Tiger King,” audiences have proven to be drawn towards stories that are equal parts shocking and fascinating.

In addition to its unique story, Cocaine Bear also boasts an impressive creative team. Along with Banks in the director’s chair, the film is being produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind hit movies such as “21 Jump Street” and “The LEGO Movie.”

As the release of Cocaine Bear draws closer, anticipation for the film continues to grow. Whether it will live up to its promise of being one of the most outrageous comedies of 2023 remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain – audiences will be lining up to see the story of Pablo Escobear come to life on the big screen.