In one of his final film roles, Ray Liotta tracks down a rabid bear.
The late actor, who died in May at the age of 67, appears in the first trailer for Cocaine Bear, directed by Elizabeth Banks, who previously worked on Charlie’s Angels and Pitch Perfect 2.
Based on a true story about a bear who accidentally ingested cocaine, the violent comedy also stars Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, Margo Martindale, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
“A significant amount of cocaine was lost.” “I need you to go get it,” Liotta’s character says in the trailer, which depicts the titular ape on a murderous rampage.
Banks, 48, remembered Liotta in an Instagram tribute in May, saying they had a “special bond.”
“We met on the set of a small film called The Details, and he completely blew me away. I’ve always admired his acting, but I really like him as a person “Banks stated. “He had a way with people. We’ve been working together on Cocaine Bear for a few months now. I just ran into him, hugged him, and inquired about his summer travel plans. It’s a gift when an actor of Ray’s caliber puts their trust in you as a director. But Ray provided me with so much more.”
“I had been told in the past by Hollywood producers that men wouldn’t follow me, that I couldn’t direct action because of that,” she continued. “Ray’s respect for me as a director, actress and artist, as his boss on set, meant everything to me because if you can direct Henry Hill, you can do f—ing anything in this town. I am so grateful Ray Liotta blessed my life. May he Rest In Peace.”
Banks teased Cocaine Bear to The New York Times in September. She stated, “It’s a fun conversation starter inspired by this insane true story from 1985, as well as an opportunity to cut through some noise. Just the title! I was crystal clear with Universal. I insisted on them ensuring that we could use the title in America. I said to myself, ‘I don’t want to direct this if you’re going to call it Bear in the Woods.'”
The film was inspired by a true story about a 175-pound bear who ate a duffel bag containing 70 pounds of smuggled cocaine in Kentucky in 1985. The bear died as a result of an overdose from the narcotic, which was dropped by a smuggler as he parachuted out of a plane. The bear was discovered among 40 opened plastic containers containing traces of the drug, according to a New York Times article at the time.
Cocaine Bear will be released in theaters on February 24.
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