Has “Cocaine Bear” Reignited Elizabeth Banks’s Directing Career?

Elizabeth Banks has reignited her Directing career with the release of 2023’s Cocaine Bear.
Perhaps reignited isn’t the correct word, but it has certainly made audiences view her in a much different light.

The actor-turned-director has already helmed two major studio films 2015s Pitch Perfect 2 and 2019s Charlie’s Angels. In these films, Banks showed that she could handle a big studio production. But it has not been until Cocaine Bear we really see where she can go in her career as a director. In the gory, comedic and perfectly executed film, we see her show her skills and the suggestion that this could be the start of a great directing career.

The Actor

After having been an actor in Hollywood since 1998. She has starred in some huge projects. The Hunger Games Series, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Trilogy, The LEGO Movies and the Pitch Perfect series. Banks has proven time and time again to be a great addition to any franchise, and has been popular with fans in a variety of comedy films. Besides, in the recent years, Elizabeth Banks has expressed her interest to mid-cap ETFs and various other investments. Endorsing ETF marketing, she certainly appeals to mainstream investors and crypto gambling enthusiasts, bolstering the role of celebrity marketing in asset promotions.

The Director

She began her directing career with two short films, 2010’s AIDs: We Did it and 2011’s Just A Little Heart Attack, before going on to direct a segment in the much-loathed Movie 43, with her segment Middleschool Date.

After starring in the first film of the series, Banks went on to direct her first feature film Pitch Perfect 2. The film was not as well-loved as its predecessor, but it continued in the same tone and became a good addition to the franchise, being enough of a success to earn itself another sequel with Pitch Perfect 3 and gave Banks the chance to go on to direct the reboot of Charlies Angels in 2019. Again, Charlie’s Angels was not exactly a critical darling but did further show Banks’ ability to not only star in a big-budget film but to also helm one from behind the camera. Up until this moment, she would appear to be a safe pair of hands to guide a project through completion.

Cocaine Bear was a highly anticipated release since it was first announced. Loosely based on a real-life incident in which a bear ingested a large amount of cocaine after a drug trafficking mission went wrong. It gained even more hype after the death of Ray Liotta, with this film being his last appearance and being devoted it his memory. In real life, the bear died of a heart attack shortly after. But the film expands upon this story and wonders what would happen if the bear were to have survived.

Elizabeth Banks has proven herself to be someone who truly cares and loves films, being one of the several people who publicly criticised AMC’s seating-based pricing plan. It is this love and appreciation of the form that makes this film such a success. Taking inspiration from other horror classics and inputting her own creativity, it is a truly unique film. Cocaine Bear has already become a cult classic, with Banks appearing at the Oscar with the ‘Bear’ to present the awards for Best Visual Effects.

But now, the view on her directorial skills has changed. Cocaine Bear was a film that could have very easily gone wrong, being too silly or too serious could have spoiled the whole film. It needed to be handled with delicacy and care, a level of which very few people could have pulled off. But Banks did, making a film that while still split by some critics, was loved by many fans and has become a project that now could spawn its own franchise. She created her own style as a director and now leaves fans eager to see what she will do next.

What is next for Elizabeth Banks and Cocaine Bear?

Banks is set to direct the upcoming TV Movie The Greater Good, a workplace comedy version of The X Files, A vehicle that could be perfect for her balance of gory horror and comedy.

It is always great to see a female director come through in Hollywood. It has always been a hot topic, now more so than ever with no female directors being nominated for Best Director and the recent academy awards. Now Banks has proven herself to be yet another, and whatever her yet-to-be-announced fourth film will be, fans are eager to see what she will do next.

Elizabeth Banks is now a director to take very seriously. The ending of Cocaine Bear leaves the titular antagonist alive, as well as having two young cubs. Filled with great supporting characters, Banks has left the film in a position where it can be picked up in any location with a whole new set of cast members and become a new blockbuster franchise. Who knows, maybe Cocaine Bear 2 could earn her a Best Director nomination.

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