Elizabeth Banks was a producer and co-star of the surprise hit Pitch Perfect, and now the actress is set to make her directorial debut with the sequel Pitch Perfect 2.
The movie has been inching forward in production for nearly a year, and on Monday reports surfaced that Banks will make the move behind the camera for the sequel.
The two stars of the original movie, Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, are reportedly likely to return for the sequel. In Pitch Perfect, Kendrick played a college freshman who reluctantly joined an a cappella group and led the rag-tag group to the competition finals.
The movie was a surprise hit, earning a $115 million worldwide box office gross on just a $17 million budget. It also did well in digital home entertainment sales, ranking as one of the top DVD and VOD titles last year. The soundtrack went platinum, while the single Cups went nearly triple platinum.
Studio executives said Elizabeth Banks was a huge part of that success.
“Elizabeth originated the idea for Pitch Perfect and was instrumental in making the first film such a huge success,” said Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley. “She brings an enormous amount of energy and experience to everything she works on and we’re thrilled that she is making her feature directorial debut on Pitch Perfect2.”
Rumors of a Pitch Perfect sequel have been around almost since the debut of the original. Last year the breakout success of Rebel Wilson, who had a successful turn as MTV Movie Awards host, led Universal to make their plans for a sequel official.
While she is busy directing Pitch Perfect 2, Elizabeth Banks has plenty of other films set to be released. She returns as Effie Trinkey in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and lends her voice to The Lego Movie, which opens February 7.