With her bonkers new movie “Cocaine Bear,” Elizabeth Banks knew she wanted “to make something muscular and masculine.”
In a new interview with Variety published on Wednesday, Banks – who directed and coproduced the film about a drug-fueled bear on a killing rampage – shared how difficult it was to convince some Hollywood power players that a woman could helm such a movie.
“I wanted to break down some of the mythology around what kinds of movies women are interested in making,” Banks said. “For some bizarre reason, there are still executives in Hollywood who are like, ‘I don’t know if women can do technical stuff.’ There are literally people who are like, ‘Women don’t like math.’ It just persists.”
She acknowledged that the new movie – which is based on a true story from the 1980s about a drug drop gone wrong that resulted in a bear ingesting cocaine – is “a ginormous risk,” adding that it “could be a career ender for me.”
Part of the trepidation is the lackluster box office performance of original comedies, which has caused the industry to cool around the genre.
But Banks is hopeful that the sheer zaniness of the concept – plus the bloody horror aspect of a cocaine-addled bear ripping people to shreds – will get people in the movie theater.
“I love gore. I grew up on ‘Evil Dead,’” Banks told Variety. “The gore is part of the fun of the ride.”
“Cocaine Bear” is set for release on February 24.