Elizabeth Banks Says Parental Duties Influenced Her Decision to Exit 'Pitch Perfect 3' as Director

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Elizabeth Banks

“We have been in development and it took longer than we thought," explained Banks at the PGA's annual Produced By conference.

It was announced on Friday that Elizabeth Banks had exited as the director of Pitch Perfect 3, the third installment of the a capella-centric Universal franchise.

During a panel Saturday at the PGA's annual Produced By Conference on the Sony Lot in Culver City, the multihyphenate discussed the decision, saying, "It was all timing."

Banks continued: "We feel obligated to put out the best movie, and anyone who has done sequels, this third one is hard to figure out what the story is. We want to give the audience what it wants but not making it repetitive.

“We have been in development and it took longer than we thought, and I needed to shoot another movie in the summer. If we pushed into fall it bumped up against my parental responsibilities, which made me feel uncomfortable,” she said.

Banks helmed Pitch Perfect 2, following Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore's decision to not direct the sequel in favor of heading up Tina Fey's Sisters.

The Hunger Games alum has numerous roles lined up, both in front of and behind the camera, including a turn as Rita Repulsa in Lionsgate's Power Rangers movie and directorial gigs for Sony's Charlie's Angels reboot and the YA adaptation Red Queen.

During the panel, which was moderated by Lego Movie producer Dan Lin, Banks talked about the Pitch Perfect franchise with her Brownstone Productions producing partner (and husband) Max Handelman. 

The duo emphasized that the films came around at the right time for a mid-budget, female-driven musical-comedy.

“This was right around the time when the whole 'geek chic' thing was a thing, right after Superbad,” said Handelman, with Banks adding that it also was around the time Fox's Glee was taking off.

"Then we pitched it the Monday after the release of Bridesmaids," recounts Handelman. “All the execs had glassy eyes, like, ‘Where did that come from?’ And we came in and were, like, 'Ta-da! We got the next one!’"  

Pitch Perfect and its sequel have garnered over $400 million at the global box office.  

On Tuesday, Universal pushed the release of Pitch Perfect 3 from July 21, 2017, to a holiday release of Dec. 22., 2017, which came a few weeks after the studio said it was moving the film up to July 21 from its previously announced Aug. 4, 2017, release date.

Of the move, Handelman says: "The summer of 2017 got incredibly crowded, and there is the perception that it will be great counterprogramming to that little film called Star Wars [Rogue One].”

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