Elizabeth Banks Won’t Be Directing ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ After All

A Pitch Perfect threequel looms on the horizon with Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson game for more adventure, but it’s been aca-knowledged that Elizabeth Banks will not be back in the director’s chair for the next entry in the musical comedy series.

Variety reports that Banks, who directed the somewhat divisive second film, is no longer penciled in to helm the next chapter. The trade mag’s sources say the split was amicable (aca-amicable? is that how that gag works?) with Banks simply having so much on her plate at the moment as both an actress and a director. The upside for Banks enthusiasts is that her fingerprints will be on the film beyond her involvement in the first two films. She will return to play a capella commentator extraordinaire Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger and continue to work in a producer’s capacity.

The behind-the-scenes Bellas news comes a few days removed from Universal’s decision to push the release of Pitch Perfect 3 back by a number of months. Originally set to arrive in theatres and spawn new earworms on July 21, 2017, the new target date has now shifted from summer to season’s greetings with December 22, 2017 as the updated landing spot. (Yes, “Merry Pitchmas” has already been trotted out by Universal in their announcement of the new release date.)

Whoever directs Pitch Perfect 3 will be taking on a franchise that’s pulled in a whopper amount of cash. The last film in the series racked up over $280 million worldwide at the box office, and now Universal will have to sort out who can keep that trend growing. We’re just spitballing here, but maybe Kay Cannon is the right woman for the job. She penned the screenplay for the last two Pitch Perfect films (as well as the next installment) and she’s already been tapped to make her directorial debut with the comedy The Pact. Y’know, if you’re looking for somebody.

(Via Variety)