Elizabeth Banks explains how John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, and Steven Spielberg inspired her new film Cocaine Bear and helped add depth to it.
Elizabeth Banks explains how her upcoming film, Cocaine Bear, pulled inspiration from Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Sam Raimi. Cocaine Bear is set to premiere on February 24, 2023, and has been garnering quite a bit of attention for its bizarre story. The film follows a bear who unleashes horror on a small town in Georgia after accidentally ingesting cocaine and falling into a drug-fueled murderous rage. What makes the premise even more interesting is that it is actually loosely based on a true story. In 1985 a bear died in Georgia after ingesting a large amount of cocaine. The bear is now displayed in a museum in Kentucky and was dubbed "Cocaine Bear" in 2015.
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Banks revealed that Cocaine Bear was inspired by the works of Spielberg, Carpenter, and Raimi. Banks made the revelation to confirm that Cocaine Bear is far from just a typical horror/thriller film. There are deeper themes embedded in the film, and it pays homage to other filmmakers by adding heart, comedy, and a sense of wonder. Check out Banks' statement below:
The movie, despite what you just saw, really has a lot of humor and heart in it as well. And, there's some hugging, there's some tears. It really is a story about fathers and sons and parenting and taking care of each other in crazy times, right? That's one of the sort of thematics of this too, is just when things are going totally sideways, who can you count on? That's a big part of the movie as well. That to me, the heart of the movie, the reason I made it was not necessarily because of the crazy bear. I do love these movies. I love horror and I love gore, and I love comedy and I love Sam Raimi and I love John Carpenter, and I felt like this was an opportunity to, this takes place in 1985. So this is a real opportunity to create a homage to some of those kinds of films, but also to do something really unique too, because it is also a character piece. For me, two Steven Spielberg movies that I really looked at when we talked about making this movie with the studio early on were Jaws of course and Jurassic Park because that's the other thing about bears, it's different from sharks. When you see a bear in the wild, sort of across the field or whatever, you don't immediately want to run away. You think of a little cuddly or cute [bear]. And I thought Jurassic Park did such an amazing job taking that sense of wonder and awe that you haven't seen something and then turning it into order when you realize it could be you. And that was the feeling that I wanted to get out of the audience. It would be cool to see a bear in nature. That would be fun. And, then also it could turn terrifying. Like if you weren't paying attention or if the bear did cocaine.