Elizabeth Banks Will Direct ‘Pitch Perfect 3’

The Pitch Perfect films continue to go from strength to strength with news that the third movie has been greenlit and the previous cast is returning. In another update, revealed today, Elizabeth Banks has signed on to direct Pitch Perfect 3.

Variety reports that Elizabeth Banks will return to direct the third film in the a cappella franchise. Banks previously directed Pitch Perfect 2, which was her directorial debut, and steered the film to a worldwide box-office draw of $286 million. With that sort of change, it’s little wonder that Universal is happy to hand Banks the helm once again. Banks also has a cameo in the movies, so expect her to reprise her role of Gail alongside John (John Michael Higgins), the two highly inappropriate but hilarious ICCAs commentators.

Elizabeth Banks Will Direct 'Pitch Perfect 3'
The original cast of 'Pitch Perfect.' Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Kay Cannon will return to write the script, having penned the previous two installments. Paul Brooks of Gold Circle Entertainment will return to produce alongside Max Handelman of Brownstone Productions. Banks will rejoin her husband, Handelman, as a producer as well. The film was originally scheduled for an August 2017 release, but Banks couldn’t commit at the time of that announcement. With her now signed to direct, expect the date to stay put. The Barden Bellas look to be returning in force as well, with Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow already contracted to feature in Pitch Perfect 3. Expect more casting announcements to be made shortly. No plot details have been confirmed at this early stage, but one thing is for sure — expect the world of competitive a cappella to return in style.

During production for Pitch Perfect 2, Anna Kendrick was asked about a potential third film. Initially reluctant to discuss the topic — she had reservations about a sequel to begin with — Kendrick has shown her full support to the ongoing franchise. Speaking to Time, she confirmed the following.

“I’m really focused on putting this movie out and then letting the audience tell us what to do next. I’m not one to count my chickens, so I just want to see how this one does and find out if there’s an appetite for that before I even think about it. I’ll drive myself crazy.”

In September, Kendrick spoke to GMA and revealed that Pitch Perfect 3 is going ahead, and it will be something entirely different to the previous installments.

“It’s happening. It’s so exciting. I’m really excited about the third one. I think everyone’s really excited to do something a little different, change up the structure or something and do something really creative.”

Pitch Perfect 3 has one major benefit — the cast and crew are like a family, the chemistry and rapport between them are essential, something that clearly shows on the screen. If the original crew returns — and it’s highly likely that they will — we can expect another outstanding movie from the franchise.

Elizabeth Banks Will Direct 'Pitch Perfect 3'2

Elizabeth Banks’ initial reluctance to commit to the sequel may be due to her heavy work schedule. She is currently attached to direct another Universal project, Red Queen, an adaptation of Victoria Aveyards’s young adult sci-fi novel. She is also in line to helm the reboot of Charlie’s Angels, but both films are still deep in development. In acting duties, she has just finished the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy and will next be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2.

The Pitch Perfect series, which is based on Mickey Rapkin’s novel Pitch Perfect: The Quest For Collegiate A Cappella Glory, has been a surprising success since it stormed into the box-office charts in 2012. Pitch Perfect grossed $113 million worldwide on a $17 million budget, while Pitch Perfect 2 more than doubled that amount to the tune of $286 million on a $29 million budget. The films are responsible for bringing a cappella into the mainstream and have garnered massive success since. It also launched the profiles of several cast members, who have since gone on to highly successful careers.

Pitch Perfect 3 is expected to debut on August 4, 2017. Aca-amazing!

[Photo by David Buchan/Getty Images]