It’s been a difficult week for Universal’s Pitch Perfect 3.
No sooner had we learned of the studio’s plan to delay the musical threequel by a full six months – from July 21 to December 22, 2017 – now Variety has revealed that Elizabeth Banks has backed out of directing duties.
Banks, who took point at the helm for Pitch Perfect 2 and made her directorial debut in the process, remains attached to the lucrative musical franchise as producer and will still reprise her role of Gail, one part of Universal’s irreverent commentating team opposite John Michael Higgins.
Variety didn’t disclose an exact reason for the decision, though it’s believed that the actress’ stacked schedule was the overriding factor. Not only does Banks’ current slate feature a villainious role in Lionsgate’s Power Rangers movie – a film that could go on to spawn a bona fide franchise – but there’s also the small matter of directing a re-do of Charlie’s Angels. The former of which is due to bow in March of next year.
Circling back to Pitch Perfect 3, though, and despite recent setbacks Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson are all on board to return as key members of the Barden Bellas in late 2017. Kay Cannon, meanwhile, is currently drafting up a screenplay for the musical sequel, which is hoping to one-up Pitch Perfect 2‘s international haul of $285 million.
As things stand, Pitch Perfect 3 is due to welcome back the Barden Bellas on stage come December 22, 2017. Expect news of a director to replace Elizabeth Banks to emerge over the coming weeks.