Sadly, Elizabeth Banks is not coming back to direct Pitch Perfect 3. However, Universal has rallied and was able to find a new director in a hurry. Banks and the studio have announced that Step Up: All In director Trish Sie will be taking on the comedy sequel.
The news was reported by Variety, and it was stated that production should remain on schedule since they were able to close the deal with Sie. Universal recently announced that they were bumping back the release date for Pitch Perfect 3 until December 22, 2017, and it looks like they will be sticking with that date. Elizabeth Banks took to her Twitter on Thursday in order to voice her support for Sie taking over the project.
#PitchPerfect has a new leader - so excited @bigbadtrish is directing #PP3!
Earlier in the year it was reported that http://movieweb.com/pitch-perfect-3-director-elizabeth-banks-exits/Elizabeth Banks would not be returning to direct Pitch Perfect 3, citing her parental responsibilities as her main reason for leaving the project. Banks took over for Jason Moore on Pitch Perfect 2, who directed the original Pitch Perfect, which was a surprise hit for the studio in 2012. Universal very likely would have been happy to have Banks return to the director's chair this time around, because Pitch Perfect 2 was a massive success, but she is staying on to produce and will reprise her role as Gail in the third installment.
Sie may not be a household name, but she definitely checks a lot of the boxes that Universal was looking for in a director. For one, the studio clearly wanted to keep a female director in the chair as that worked very well for them last time, and it is a female driven movie. Though her only feature directorial effort was Step Up All In, she does have some other projects that people love and know her for. She has directed several music videos for the band OK Go, most notably the "treadmill video" for "Here It Goes Again," which garnered a lot of acclaim at the time.
Universal found themselves a very out-of-nowhere hit with Pitch Perfect in 2012. The movie had a production budget of only $15 million, but it wound up making $115 million at the worldwide box office. It also found a massive following once it was released on Blu-ray and DVD, which helped Banks' Pitch Perfect 2 earn an even more impressive $287 million worldwide on a $29 million budget. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow are all returning for the sequel, with a script penned by Kay Cannon. Pitch Perfect 3 will be coming out next year just one week after Disney and Lucasfilm release Star Wars Episode VIII on December 15, 2017. Pitch Perfect 3 should serve as a good bit of counter-programming for those not wanting to see the next chapter in the Star Wars saga.