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Elizabeth Banks has found her next directorial project with a bear-centric thriller that has Phil Lord and Chris Miller set to produce.
Universal is behind Cocaine Bear, which is based on an untitled spec written by Jimmy Warden, inspired by events that took place in Kentucky in 1985.
The true story, as reported in 1985 by The New York Times, was that a 175-pound black bear consumed the contents of a duffle bag filled with more than 70 pounds of cocaine that was dropped from an airplane by a local drug smuggler, Andrew Thornton. The bear was later found dead of an apparent drug overdose.
The exact plot details for the film, which is eyeing a summer shoot date, are being kept under wraps.
(Radio Silence — the filmmaking team consisting of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett and Chad Villella that was behind Ready or Not — was set to direct a previous iteration of the project.)
The project will be produced under Lord Miller’s first-look pact with Universal. Lord Miller president Aditya Sood brought the project to the studio and will also produce, along with Brian Duffield and Banks and Max Handelman via their Brownstone Productions banner. Executive vp production Matt Reilly and creative executive Christine Sun will oversee the pic on behalf of Universal.
Banks was last behind the camera on the Sony’s Charlie’s Angels reboot, starring Kristen Stewart. Her other feature directing credit was on Universal franchise film Pitch Perfect 2.
Banks and Brownstone are repped by UTA, Untitled and Ziffren Brittenham.
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