Back in October, it was confirmed that Elizabeth Banks, who made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, was coming back to take the helm of the next installment, Pitch Perfect 3. Aside from Universal delaying the release from July 21, 2017 to December 22, 2017, we haven't heard anything about this follow-up. Today we have word that Elizabeth Banks is dropping out as director, but she isn't leaving the project entirely.
Variety reports that her departure from the project was amicable, and she is still staying on board as a producer. She will also return to reprise her on-camera role as Gail from Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2. While the actress/director isn't leaving in favor of another directorial offer, the site's sources claim that her increasingly busy schedule was a factor in her leaving the director's chair.
Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow have been set to reprise their roles from Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2, but no other cast members have been confirmed. Hailee Steinfeld is expected to return from Pitch Perfect 2 as well. When she signed on for the sequel, it was believed that she would eventually take over as the franchise's star, but we don't know if that plan is still in place.
The Pitch Perfect sequel will square off directly against the action reboot The Six Billion Dollar Man starring Mark Wahlberg, the animated sequel The Croods 2 and an untitled PG-13 comedy from Warner Bros. on December 22, 2017. Then, just three days later, it will have to go against Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman on Earth on Christmas Day. This sequel will also open one week after the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VIII, which debuts on December 15, 2017.
It isn't known if Universal is already lining up directors to replace Elizabeth Banks, but the actress/filmmaker spoke about the news on Twitter earlier today. Be sure to stay tuned for more on Pitch Perfect 3, which will be written by Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 writer Kay Cannon. In the meantime, take a look at Elizabeth Banks' tweet below.