Why ‘Cocaine Bear’ Opens the Same Way As ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Does

Thank you, Jefferson Starship and directorial friendships
Why ‘Cocaine Bear’ Opens the Same Way As ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Does

Further proving that movie-goers love bears with crippling addiction issues (Winnie the Poohs honey dependency and Paddington Bears marmalade habit being exhibits A and B), this weekend sees the release of Elizabeth Banks much-hyped Cocaine Bear, which, unlike a certain TV show about Chicago restaurateurs, actually has a goddamn bear in it. And, as promised, the bear does ingest Robert Evans-levels of cocaine.

While it remains to be seen whether or not Cocaine Bears internet buzz will translate into actual ticket sales or if its yet another example of a movie that is ironically memeable but not financially viable (which should henceforth be known as pulling a Morbius), one moment that will no doubt delight comedy fans is the opening needle drop. 

As the film begins, we hear the mellifluous sounds of Jefferson Starships 1979 tune Jane. Which seems like a pointed reference to another ridiculous movie set in the 1980s, as the same song similarly accompanied the opening credits of Wet Hot American Summer and later served as the theme for its prequel/sequel series on Netflix.

Of course, Wet Hot American Summer was one of Banks first movies — she played Lindsay, the camp counselor who revoltingly tastes like a burger.

While the song choice may seem perfect in retrospect, Banks reusing Wet Hots anthem for Cocaine Bear wasnt always the plan. In an interview with The AU Review, Banks revealed that during the editing process, they placed several other vintage tracks over the opening, but none clicked. So they randomly tried Jane, and according to Banks, “It was such a good idea, I just had to use it. She also realized that it fit with the films opening scene, reasoning that it is the song a character like Andrew Thornton would have been listening to when he was throwing cocaine out of the plane.

Before committing to the decision, Banks called up Wet Hot director David Wain and said, Listen, Im going to steal this and put it in the opening. Its an homage. I hope its okay? To which he replied: Please. Its not my song. Go for it! 

Presumably, the surviving members of Jefferson Starship were just happy to get a royalty check and help support the cocaine bear-based arts.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this). 

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