Keri Russell and Ray Liotta feature in Cocaine Bear ensemble

Keri Russell and Ray Liotta feature in Cocaine Bear ensemble

Keri Russell and Ray Liotta are among the cast of 'Cocaine Bear'.

The pair form part of an all-star ensemble for Elizabeth Banks' film, about a real-life 175-pound bear who died of an apparent cocaine overdose.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Alden Ehrenreich and O'Shea Jackson are also attached to star in the movie.

Jimmy Warden has penned the script for the "character-driven thriller inspired by true events that took place in Kentucky in 1985".

According to a New York Times article in 1985, the bear was found dead among 40 opened containers with traces of cocaine, apparently dropped from a plane by a convicted drug smuggler because he was carrying too heavy a load while parachuting.

Production is set to begin in Ireland in August with Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Aditya Sood producing for Lord Miller. Elizabeth is also producing with Brian Duffield and Max Handelman for Brownstone Productions.

Banks previously helmed the 2019 take on 'Charlie's Angels' but claimed that the film's poor performance at the box office showed that men are unlikely to watch female-led action films.

The 47-year-old star said: "They’ll go and see a comic book movie with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel because that’s a male genre.

"So even though those are movies about women, they put them in the context of feeding the larger comic book world, so it’s all about, yes, you’re watching a Wonder Woman movie but we’re setting up three other characters or we’re setting up Justice League.

"If this movie doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies."