Elizabeth Banks Explains Pitch Perfect 3 Departure

elizabeth banks

Given what a bang-up job she did on the second film, it was disappointing to all fans of the Pitch Perfect franchise when Elizabeth Banks revealed that she’d be stepping out of the director’s chair for Pitch Perfect 3, letting another filmmaker take the reins. But Banks will still be involved in the production, and she’s recently gone on record to explain exactly what happened behind the scenes that led her to walk away.

Simply put, it was a scheduling change that caused Banks’ change of heart. Universal shifted Pitch Perfect 3 off the incredibly blockbuster-heavy summer 2017 slate in favor of a release date around Christmas time that year, which would have involved Banks shooting the film out of the summer season – and at a time far less convenient for her as a parent (she has two children).

“We’ve been in development and it’s taking longer than we thought,” Banks said at the Producers Guild of America’s 8th annual Produced By conference at Sony Pictures, explaining her decision.

“I thought I was going to direct the movie in the summer. It was really important to me to direct the movie in summer because if we pushed into fall it bumped up against my parental responsibilities, which made me feel uncomfortable.”

However, Banks says there’s no reason to worry about the threequel. “I think it’s going to be a great infusion of energy in the third film,” she said, explaining that she feels confident after having taken the time to figure out a story that was strong without feeling like a retread.

Pitch Perfect 3, which still needs a director in the wake of Banks’ departure, will open at Christmas time in 2017.