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Elizabeth Banks Aca-Avoids Directing ‘Pitch Perfect 3’

Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Getty Images
Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Getty Images

Elizabeth Banks’ time directing the Pitch Perfect franchise is aca-over. She will not have Pitch Perfect 3 on her director’s film-aca-phy. She’ll instead divert her energy into other pr-aca-jects.

(And so aca-on.)

Variety reports that Elizabeth Banks will not return to direct Pitch Perfect 3. Banks has been a major creative force in the franchise from the beginning. She produced the first two movies and directed the second, which made $287 million worldwide, more than double the first Pitch Perfect’s total. Banks also co-starred in both of the previous two films as a cappella commentator Gail. She will reportedly hold on to that gig, as well as her title as producer. But she won’t direct the movie, after what Variety described as an “amicable” split with the film’s distributor, Universal, adding:

Banks isn’t leaving the franchise in favor of a specific project, sources say, but her increasingly packed schedule did play a part in her exit as director.

Earlier this week, Pitch Perfect 3 was pushed back from its original release date of June 21, 2017 to a premiere in late December. The first movie had opened in September; the second in mid-May. Their breezy, poppy stories of wise-cracking a cappella singers seems better suited to the summer movie season (where it made effective counter-programming to some of the other male-friendly titles), but perhaps by this point in the franchise the Pitch Perfect name has built up enough cache to compete in the prestigious waters of awards season.

At the very least, PP3 will still have Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, and Rebel Wilson — and Elizabeth Banks, in a performer’s and producer’s role. After delays, and pending the hiring of a new director, Pitch Perfect 3 is now scheduled to open on December 22, 2017.

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