Cocaine Bear VFX Boss Reveals Horrifying References Used on Movie

Earlier this month, Cocaine Bear arrived in theaters with generally positive reviews. Beyond that, the movie bested expectations in its opening weekend, debuting with a sizable over-$20 million haul. Though the premise is quite absurd in and of itself, the filmmakers behind the movie tried to remain as realistic as possible, even scaling back the zaniness of the eponymous Cokey the Bear at times. Since the filmmakers that developed the computer-generated models of Cokey were instructed to be as realistic as possible, they went through grueling hours watching videos nobody should have to suffer through.

"We wanted to ground them in something that would be real, so we looked at clips of horses and dogs having seizures," Cocaine Bear VFX supervisor Robin Hollander tells us. "It's not an easy watch, but it was really informative just to see what would a body of that size do when they have muscle spasms and twitches and how it manifests itself?"

He adds, "We really just used that to stress test our puppets. So it was like, 'Okay, cool, we could do that, but we probably don't have to, but the option was always there for the filmmakers.' And as we progressed through the movie, I think we definitely went up and down a little bit. Some beats are like, 'Actually, let's go up a little bit morem,' It's like, 'No, now her character's kind of skewed. Let's bring it all back down a little bit again.'"

Is Cocaine Bear a true story?

In short, yes, the film was based on a true story. While there's no evidence that the bear in question actually got high on cocaine and murdered dozens in the Tennesseean wilderness, Cokey was found dead next to bags of cocaine that were shredded open. The stuffed corpse of the bear can now be seen at the Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky.

Directed by Elizabeth Banks (Charlie's AngelsPitch Perfect 2) from a screenplay by Jimmy Warden (The Babysitter: Killer Queen), Cocaine Bear is produced by Oscar winners Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, The Mitchells vs. The Machines) and Aditya Sood (The Martian) for Lord Miller, by Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman (Pitch Perfect franchise) for Brownstone Productions, and by Brian Duffield (Spontaneous). Robin Fisichella (Ma) is listed as executive producer.

Cocaine Bear is now in theaters or available for purchase on any digital movie platform.