Given the sequel’s massive box-office success, it’s little surprise that the studio behind the film waited only a month after Pitch 2‘s release to line up the next installment in its a cappella franchise.
With Pitch 2 still in theaters, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that screenwriter Kay Cannon and stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson were already on board for a Pitch 3, and Kendrick took to social media to officially announce the news quickly thereafter. It didn’t take long before news trickled out that Elizabeth Banks would return to the director’s chair (she later scaled back her role and was replaced with new director Trish Sie, see below), followed by confirmations that alums Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow and Anna Camp would also be back.
Franchise newcomers Ruby Rose, Trinidad James and John Lithgow have also been added to the cast in recent announcements. Guy Burnet and Matt Lanter will also appear in the film, though information about their characters have been kept a secret.
With those high notes to grab on to, is Pitch 3 going to be aca-awesome?
Though many details remain under wraps, filming on the threequel has wrapped — Wilson, Camp and Steinfeld all celebrated their last day on set via social media. Though it’s still too early to tell, The Hollywood Reporter has compiled all of the available information on Barden Bellas 3.0 (so far) into a helpful cheat sheet below for fans to stay updated. Keep checking back for news.
PITCH PERFECT 3 CHEAT SHEET:
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Anna Kendrick: Plays Beca Mitchell, one of the leaders of the Barden Bellas.
Rebel Wilson: Plays Barden Bella Fat Amy.
Brittany Snow: Plays Barden Bella and three-time super senior Chloe Beale.
Anna Camp: Plays Barden Bella graduate Aubrey Posen.
Hailee Steinfeld: Plays Emily Junk, who joined the Bellas as a freshman in Pitch Perfect 2.
Elizabeth Banks: The actress-filmmaker, who has appeared in both films as commentator Gail Abernathy-McKadden, was initially set to return to the director’s chair for the third installment. Banks made her directorial debut with the second film and co-produced the firs. She remains on the film as a producer, along with her husband, Max Handelman, and Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks.
Trish Sie: Sie had only directed one film but it was key to her getting the job: Step Up All In, the fifth installment of the franchise. Sie also choreographed the viral music videos for Ok Go, including “Upside Down & Inside Out” and “Here it Goes Again.”
Kay Cannon: The screenwriter penned the first two installments and returned to write the third script.
Chrissie Fit (Flo), Shelley Regner (Ashley), Ester Dean (Cynthia Rose), Hana Mae Lee (Lilly) and Kelley Jakle (Jessica): On Jan. 6, Kendrick shared the first photo of the cast on her Instagram, confirming a slate of returning stars who were pictured with already confirmed castmembers Wilson, Snow and Camp. She captioned the snap: “team.”
Ruby Rose and Trinidad James: The Orange Is the New Black star and rapper join the cast to play members of two competing singing groups.
John Lithgow: The SAG Award-winning star of Netflix’s The Crown has been added to the cast, though his character description is being kept under wraps.
DJ Khaled: The hip-hop savant teased his role on social media, but didn’t provide many details about his character other than the fact that he has a “major role” on set.
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While it’s unclear if Wilson’s love interest, played by Adam DeVine, will return, original star Skylar Astin (Camp’s real-life husband and Kendrick’s on-screen love interest, Jesse Swanson) confirmed he won’t be back. “Yes. As of now, the Trebles and I won’t be in the third Pitch Perfect movie. They seem to be taking the story in a different direction,” he tweeted in December.
Universal revealed, “Get ready to have a Merry Pitchmas” when the studio announced that the film is set to open in the heart of the lucrative year-end holiday season in 2017.
With three years lapsing onscreen between the first two films, Beca, Fat Amy and three-time super senior Chloe were all presumably in their last year of college in the sequel, with Steinfeld’s Emily coming in as the lone freshman Bella.
Pitch Perfect 3 will find a number of the Bellas from the first two films struggling to succeed in their professional lives after graduating from Barden University. After reuniting over drinks, the former teammates decide to bring the a capella team together one more time to perform overseas as part of the USO tour to support the troops. While it appears that Steinfeld’s Emily is still a student at the university, she will join the Bellas for the international tour.
While the first two installments were filmed on and around Louisiana State University’s campus in Baton Rouge, the majority of Pitch Picture 3 will be set in Europe. The second trailer for the film reveals that the first military base the team visits is in Spain.
The film has changed its release date several times. Given an original summer date of July 21, 2017, the film was then pushed back to Aug. 4, 2017 before returning to its original date. Most recently, Universal again pushed the film back — this time for a holiday season release of Dec. 22, 2017.
Though the cost of bringing back Kendrick and Wilson could not have come cheap (options weren’t in place for the pair, who earned $2 million each for Pitch 2), sources also told THR that Universal and Golden Circle were eyeing a franchise when they locked in Steinfeld.
While the sequel wasn’t as well received by critics (the first film maintains an 80 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, whereas the follow-up has a 66 percent rating on the Tomatometer), the reviews didn’t hurt the franchise’s box-office success the second time around.
To date, the musical franchise has a global gross of $402 million, including 2012’s Pitch Perfect and 2015’s Pitch Perfect 2.
The original film was a sleeper hit, grossing $115 million on a $17 million budget. The second, which is the highest-grossing musical comedy film ever, raked in $287 million on a $29 million budget.
A second trailer for the film was released in September. The trailer shows Barden Bella members played by Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfeld perfect their sound for the USO competition. After getting a look at their competition, Kendrick asks, “”Is it weird that everybody is better at the one thing we do than we are at that thing?” The trailer also features a first look at the third installment’s annual riff-off that is featured in each film.
Photos: Universal Pictures