Aca-unbelievable! Elizabeth Banks has exited “Pitch Perfect 3″ as director.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the star has left the director’s chair but will remain as a producer on the a capella-centric movie. Banks directed the successful sequel which grossed over $180 million at the box office and served as producer for both “Pitch Perfect”; and “Pitch Perfect 2″.
“The Hunger Games”; actress also has a small role in the franchise as enthusiastic a capella judge Gail, trading witty commentary and barbs with fellow aca-judge, John (John Michael Higgins). She was expected to return to the sequel once again along with Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, “Pitch Perfect 2’s”; Hailee Steinfeld, and original film cast member Brittany Snow. No word on whether Banks stepping back from the director’s chair will impact her role in the movie.
The news of her exit comes just after the release date for “Pitch Perfect 3″ was pushed back from July 21 to December 22, 2017. The move came just weeks after Universal Pictures announced they were moving production on the film up, eyeing and August 4, 2017 release date. No word on if these schedule changes impacted Banks’ availability.
Banks has plenty on her schedule to keep her occupied both in front of and behind the camera without directing “Pitch Perfect 3″. The actress is currently filming her role as villain Rita Repulsa in the “Power Rangers”; movie, is set to direct the “Charlie’s Angels”; movie reboot and has several producing projects on the go.
As Banks explained during a Producers Guild of America panel (as reported by Deadline), the problem was simply one of timing when production was pushed back from the original timeframe.
“I thought I was going to direct the movie in the summer,” said Banks, mother of two children. “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.”