Does the bear die in Cocaine Bear?

Cocaine Bear in Cocaine Bear.Universal Pictures

Cocaine Bear is the high-concept comedy that asks what happens when a black bear does a bunch of cocaine – but does the animal live or die in the movie?

Cocaine Bear is very vaguely based on the true story of a black bear that consumed lots of cocaine in an American National Park in 1985. Then promptly died as a result.

Screenwriter Jimmy Warden spotted that story, and decided to make a movie about the bear living for a few more hours, and going on a killing spree. As revenge for the tragedy that befell that real-life bear.

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The synopsis for the resulting movie is as follows: “Inspired by the 1985 true story of a drug runner’s plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it, this wild dark comedy finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow… and blood.”

But does Cocaine Bear live or die? Read on if you absolutely need to find out, though obviously, BEWARE OF SPOILERS AHEAD

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Does the bear die in Cocaine Bear?

No, the bear does not die in Cocaine Bear. Instead, the animal takes down the film’s villain, then roars with sky-high joy.

Cocaine Bear is driven by the fact that she’s a Mama Bear, with her adorable cubs also doing drugs late in proceedings. And she isn’t letting anything happen to them.

Which is bad news for crime kingpin Syd (Ray Liotta), who kicks those cubs during the film’s climax, before knocking mom off a cliff. As well as a bag of coke. That coke sprays all over Cocaine Bear, effectively bringing her back to life, and she then races up the cliff-face, splits open Syd’s stomach, and the cubs feast in his intestines.

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Meaning Cocaine Bear is very much alive at the end of the movie, standing over the remaining coke alongside her equally alive cubs.

Were there ever plans for Coke Bear to die?

No, there was never a version of the movie where Cocaine Bear dies.

“Never!” Screenwriter Jimmy Warden told us of any potential bear death. “To me and the producers and to [director] Liz [Banks] – when she came on she definitely took these themes about this being a story about parents – good parents and bad parents.

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“Those themes definitely come full circle by the end of the movie. My objective was always to rewrite history – make this a revenge story for the bear. Because the bear was just a victim in this entire thing. You give a bear cocaine, what do you think is going to happen? So we wanted to give it the story it deserved. At least that’s what I wanted to do. So the bear always lived on.” 

Cocaine Bear is in cinemas now, and more of our coverage can be read below…

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Cocaine Bear Review | The True Story | Jurassic Park’s influence | Ray Liotta tribute | Cocaine Bear video game | Post-Credit scenes explained | Cocaine Bear 2 | Does the bear die? | Cocaine Dinosaur plans

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