Elizabeth Banks Leaves ‘Pitch Perfect 3’, Cites Parenting Duties As Key Factor

Elizabeth Banks has announced she is leaving the production for Pitch Perfect 3, citing her responsibilities as a parent, as well as the timing of the release of the movie as the main reasons. Elizabeth Banks made her directorial debut when she helmed Pitch Perfect 2, which was arguably better than the original movie. During an appearance at the “Producers Guild’s Produced By” conference Banks said she had every intention to direct the third film in the series over the summer, but plans got derailed when Pitch Perfect 3‘s release date got moved to December of 2017.

“The new schedule butts up against my parental responsibilities in a way I’m not really comfortable with.”

Variety points out Elizabeth Banks and her husband, Max Handelman, are not leaving the Pitch Perfect franchise altogether, as both will remain producers for the film. While announcing that parenting was going to take precedent over production as a director, Banks said she understood why Pitch Perfect 3 had to be moved back. Banks, who also plays a kind of “play by play” announced character in the films said she understands the movie needs to have as good a production run as possible.

Elizabeth Banks
“Development always takes longer than you expect it to,” Banks said during the event. “We feel obligated to put out the absolute best next movie; we’ve been developing our asses off.” After Sony had announced they were pushing the release date back from July of 2017 to December of 2017, Banks said her departure from the picture was entirely amicable. It’s possible one of the reasons she decided she could not be the director for Pitch Perfect 3 is because she will still also be appearing in the movie.

Elizabeth Banks will yet again take on the role of Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger and the double duty might have been too much to ask of Banks. The movie is slated to be as good or better than Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 considering several of the most popular stars including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow are all signed on to return as Barden Bellas. Kay Cannon has once again agreed to write the script.

The original Pitch Perfect was considering a surprise hit as it raked in more than $117 million. The second film in the series, directed by Elizabeth, hit the “blockbuster” status with more than $285 million world wide. There’s no reason the think the third film won’t make that same kind of money or more when it finally does hit the theaters. While Elizabeth Banks is stepping away from the director’s chair for Pitch Perfect 3, that doesn’t mean she’s taking it easy.

Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth is still getting plenty of starring roles and her next big time turn is going to be as the main villain in the reboot of the Power Rangers movies. Banks will play Rita Repulsa, who is the galactic witch who conjures so many of the monsters the titular characters have fought to save their town and the world. This over the top villain was just recently shown off in a photo shoot where Banks and her costars were all in costume.

Banks has long been a Hollywood star who has taken on the less traditional roles. At the same time, she has managed to make herself a bonafide star thanks to supporting roles in movie series like The Hunger Games. The director that is going to take over Banks’ spot for Pitch Perfect 3 has not yet been named, but since Elizabeth Banks is still a producer on the project, they will likely need to get her stamp of approval at some point.

[Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images]