One of the most surprising box office breakouts of 2012 would have to be Pitch Perfect, a college-set musical comedy centering on a group of female a capella singers. Thanks to its strong cast, including Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, and extremely positive word-of-mouth, the film grossed over $113 million on a skimpy budget of $17 million. As soon as the numbers came in, a sequel was all but inevitable, and Universal has quickly put one into production for next summer, tentatively called Pitch Perfect 2.
Now, we’re hearing that Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) is about to sign on to join the cast of the sequel, which will be directed by Elizabeth Banks. Kendrick, Wilson and Banks previously signed deals to return in the roles of Becca Mitchell, “Fat Amy” and Gail Abernathy-McKadden, respectively. Also returning are Skylar Astin, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee and Kelley Jakle.
Chrissie Fit (Disney’s Teen Beach Movie) was also added to the cast earlier this week. No word yet on which characters Steinfeld and Fit will be playing, though Steinfeld is just about the right age to play a college freshman.
The actress has a major supporting role in the upcoming musical drama Begin Again (previously Can A Song Save Your Life?), so we’ll soon get a chance to see whether this young talent has the necessary singing chops for a large role in Pitch Perfect 2.
Along with the casting announcement came some comments from Banks about the challenges of making her directorial debut on what Universal is positioning as a major summer tentpole. Speaking with Variety, the actress said:
We made the first movie, we were like the Little Engine That Could — “I think I can, I think I can” — and I don’t think people really knew what we were doing, and now people really love it. It’s really beloved. And frankly, all I feel is pressure. I try to only work on things that I feel this passionately about. Directing takes more time and energy; I’m just wearing a few more hats this time around, but I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t feel a hundred percent passionately about it, and I try to do that with most things in my life. I feel very grateful that I’m able to do that with my choices.
No plot has been announced yet for Pitch Perfect 2, which is scheduled to hit theaters on May 15th, 2015, but we’ll definitely keep you posted when we hear more.