The Mercury News

`Cocaine Bear' film also a video game

- By Christi Carras

The marketing team behind Elizabeth Banks' “Cocaine Bear” on Tuesday released a bonkers video game inspired by the forthcomin­g film. And the internet is eating it up.

Billed as an 8-bit video game, “Cocaine Bear: The Rise of Pablo Escobear” challenges players to eat “as much cocaine as you can” and “as many people as you can” while going on a druginduce­d rampage through the forest, Pac-Man style. The game — which debuted days after a trailer for “Cocaine Bear” aired during the Super Bowl — can be found on the movie's website and played on multiple devices, including computers and smartphone­s.

The interactiv­e marketing ploy is, of course, intended to promote the film of the same name — a dark comedy based on the true story of a black bear that ingested large amounts of cocaine after a drug runner's plane crashed in a Georgia forest in 1985.

Directed by Banks, the Universal Pictures flick stars Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery-Jennings, Alden Ehrenreich, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Brooklynn

Prince, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Kristofer Hivju, Hannah Hoekstra, Aaron Holliday, Margo Martindale and the late Ray Liotta in one of his final roles.

Shameless and absurd as it may be, Twitter users couldn't get enough of the “Cocaine Bear” video game in the wake of its release. Plenty have happily strolled into the marketing team's game-ified bear trap, sharing their scores and praising the film's “incredible,” “genius” promotiona­l campaign on social media.

“Elizabeth banks is probably one of the most marketing smart directors in recent time cause she is making sure everyone knows this bear,” tweeted @Inkiadk.

In an interview last week with Variety, Banks deemed her latest feature “an enormous risk” and joked that the gory, chaotic title “could be a career ender.” But as wacky as the premise may seem, Banks earnestly shared that she feels “a deep sympathy for the bear.”

“I really felt like this is so f— up that this bear got dragged into this drug run gone bad and ends up dead,” she told Variety. “I felt like this movie could be that bear's revenge story.”

“Cocaine Bear” hits theaters Feb. 24.

 ?? UNIVERSAL PICTURES ?? “Cocaine Bear,” a comedy-horror film about a black bear that ingests cocaine, lands in theaters Feb. 24
UNIVERSAL PICTURES “Cocaine Bear,” a comedy-horror film about a black bear that ingests cocaine, lands in theaters Feb. 24

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