“Cocaine Bear” Sparks Elizabeth Banks’s Directing Comeback?

Elizabeth Banks has once again proven her prowess as a director with the release of Cocaine Bear in 2023. While it may not be accurate to say that her directing career has been reignited, the film has certainly allowed audiences to see her in a new light. Banks, who started out as an actor, has already directed two major studio films – Pitch Perfect 2 in 2015 and Charlie’s Angels in 2019. Through these films, she has demonstrated her ability to direct with finesse and creativity.

Pitch Perfect 2 was a sequel to the 2012 hit musical comedy Pitch Perfect. The film follows the Barden Bellas, an all-female a cappella group, as they compete in a worldwide singing competition. Banks not only directed the film but also starred in it as Gail Abernathy-McKadden, a commentator for the competition. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $287 million worldwide. Banks’ direction was praised for its energy and humor, which perfectly complemented the film’s musical numbers.

In 2019, Banks directed and co-wrote the reboot of Charlie’s Angels. The film featured a new cast of Angels – Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska – who team up to stop a dangerous technology from falling into the wrong hands. Banks also starred in the film as Bosley, a role traditionally played by men in previous iterations of the franchise. While the film received mixed reviews from critics, it was praised for its diverse cast and feminist themes.

With Cocaine Bear, Banks has once again shown her versatility as a director. The film is based on a true story about a bear who accidentally ingested a large amount of cocaine that was dropped from a drug smuggler’s plane. The bear’s subsequent death sparked an investigation that led to the arrest of several individuals involved in the drug trade. The film is a dark comedy that explores themes of greed, corruption, and the consequences of our actions.

Banks’ direction in Cocaine Bear has been praised for its boldness and originality. The film features a unique blend of humor and drama that keeps audiences engaged from start to finish. Banks also manages to bring out the best in her cast, which includes Keri Russell, Ray Liotta, and Alden Ehrenreich. The film has been described as a “wild ride” and a “must-see” for fans of Banks’ previous work.

In addition to her directing career, Banks has also been an advocate for women’s rights and representation in Hollywood. She co-founded the website WhoHaha, which showcases female comedians and creators. She has also been vocal about the need for more women in positions of power in the film industry. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said, “I want to see more women in the director’s chair, more women behind the camera, more women producing, more women writing. I want to see more women’s stories being told.”

Banks’ commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident in her work as a director. She has cast actors from different backgrounds and has tackled themes that are relevant to a wide range of audiences. Her films have also been praised for their positive portrayal of women and their ability to challenge gender stereotypes.

In conclusion, Elizabeth Banks has established herself as a talented and versatile director with the release of Cocaine Bear. Her previous work on Pitch Perfect 2 and Charlie’s Angels showcased her ability to direct with humor and creativity. With Cocaine Bear, she has taken on a new challenge and has succeeded in creating a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Her commitment to diversity and inclusion in Hollywood is also commendable and sets an example for other filmmakers to follow.