Elizabeth Banks will not direct Pitch Perfect 3: ‘It was all timing’


The picture above is Elizabeth Banks at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards in London yesterday. Elizabeth is a real force in Hollywood. She has a successful production company, Brownstone Productions, she has earned critical praise as an actress and her first full-length feature directorial debut, Pitch Perfect 2, grossed over $287 million. But because Elizabeth is so down to earth, I forget how much of a power player she is; she’s just quietly triumphant in the industry.

PP2 was successful enough to get a third swing at bat and Elizabeth’s was signed on to direct again. It was recently announced that PP3 was being pushed back from July 2017 to December 2017 due to a hold up in production. The good news is that hold up is an attempt to get a good story for the third movie. The bad news is now Elizabeth will not be able to direct as it conflicts with her other job of being a mother.

Kids over everything! Elizabeth Banks recently announced she will not returning to direct Pitch Perfect 3, and it’s because the gig interfered with her parenting responsibilities.

Banks discussed her decision to exit her director role at the annual PGA Produced By Conference in Culver City, California . “It was all timing,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Banks explained that it took longer than she expected to develop the story line, and the delay pushed the release date back from July 2017 to December 2017. “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.

The Hunger Games actress and her husband Max Handelman are parents to Felix, 5, and Magnus, 3. The actress welcomed both children though gestational surrogate, and has been candid about her past struggles to get pregnant.

[From Us Magazine]

Felix is 5 so he is likely starting Kindergarten this fall. If that’s the case, I understand her motivation. I am not militant about structure but I do believe in schedules and my whole world changed when I became bound to a school schedule. Elizabeth has spoken before of how miserable she finds herself when her acting jobs limit the amount of time she gets to spend with her kids. Elizabeth, who is a producer on all three Pitch Perfect films, made the decision; it is not a reflection on her capabilities as a director. She is still directing Red Queen and the Charlie’s Angels reboot in addition to a TV movie called The Greater Good. Plus, she has the role as Rita Repulsa in The Mighty Morphins Power Rangers and her voice work – notably Wyldstyle in The Lego Movie projects. (If you haven’t caught it yet, her character in the series Moonbeam City with Rob Lowe is an absolute riot.)

I give Elizabeth credit not only for doing what’s best for her by giving up the director job, but for doing what is right for the movie and not shoving it out the door with a half-baked story. I loved Pitch Perfect, I liked Pitch Perfect 2 and I have no idea where they would take Pitch Perfect 3. Elizabeth will be back as Gail, which is great because her and John Higgins Clarke’s commentary is one of the best part of both movies.


Photo credit: WENN and Fame/Flynet Photos and Getty Images

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16 Responses to “Elizabeth Banks will not direct Pitch Perfect 3: ‘It was all timing’”

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  1. justcrimmles says:

    I liked those movies, but damn, haven’t they graduated yet? THEY’RE IN THEIR 30S!


  2. Lucy2 says:

    I didn’t love PP2, but I am so glad she is still producing and acting in the sequel, and that she is continuing to direct other things too. Considering how in demand she is, I’m impressed that she’s able to say no to things that upset her work/life balance.

  3. Bey says:

    “If we pushed into fall it bumped up against my parental responsibilities, which made me feel uncomfortable,” she said.”

    makes me think a lot less of her husband. why doesnt he take care of the family? he doesnt seem to be having a big career anyway. she is the breadwinner, why does she have to back down?
    why is it always the woman having to turn down jobs to be with the family?
    something like this makes me so mad, i’d hoped we were finally making progress.

    • iGotNothin says:

      It could be her choice. I would think that if she has the choice to be a power player she should also have the choice to spend time with her children. Not everything is a step back into barefoot and pregnant.

      • Bey says:

        why does “choice” in terms of feminism always come down to women acting exactly as the patriarchy wants them to?

    • original kay says:

      how do you know he hasnt done just that? you post like you know them. it’s weird.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I think you have a good point, and what you’re describing is often the case, but as someone who struggled with infertility, I get her decision. That sounded weird. I mean, I’m sure other (more fertile) women feel this way, too, but if I had been able to have children, I would have made them my first priority. Any job would have to come second. I realize that this falls in line with what the patriarchy wants me to do, but that’s not why I would have done it. I just really wanted to have children much more than I ever wanted a career. It wouldn’t have been a struggle for me. People are different and have different goals. Everyone who puts their career on hold isn’t suffering – some of them would just rather have that time with their children. My career never meant much to me or defined who I was to me. I realize how much more difficult it would be if it had meant a lot to me. That’s the woman I think you are defending so valiantly, and for good reason. She shouldn’t have to step back just because she’s the woman. But I think maybe you’re forgetting that some people simply want to put parental responsibilities over career responsibilities. That doesn’t make anyone better or worse – it’s just who they are and they have a right to be who they are.

    • Marigold says:

      First of all, how the hell do you know what her husband does as a parent? Second of all, he operates Brownstone with her so every project she’s a part of via that production company-including PP3, he is too. Just because he doesn’t act and direct doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a full time job. And lastly, wanting to be there for her children isn’t a step back in time or her cowering to the patriarchy. Her husband being there for her children is wonderful but it doesn’t make her there vicariously. Some parents like to experience things firsthand if they can and we shouldn’t shame them for that. She has spent the better part of the last several years on the road/in the air and she wants to be with her children. Give her a break.

      • lucy2 says:

        I remember that, they are partners in the company. Most likely he’s handling the day to day work of it since she is often filming.

        I too don’t see it as stepping backwards, I think she simply wants to be there with her kids at that time – a luxury many don’t have the choice to do. She’s built herself up into such a strong business that she can afford to do that if she chooses. That’s success.

    • Fire Rabbit says:

      HER choice. Without having to justify it or ask for someone else’s permission. That IS progress.

    • claire says:

      In thinking you’re standing up for her rights as a woman, you just took away all her agency. The irony.

  4. Miss M says:

    I liked both PO and PP2. I hope they really create a good script for PP3. Good for her for making this decision!

  5. PukingPug says:

    I am somehow glad that she is not directing it. I loved PP1, but PP2 not so much. I didn´t like what they did to Becca´s character (she was so tough and cool in PP1 and in PP2 she could only stutter when she was talking to the german singer?). There was no romance, and all in all it was so much more unrealistic (A capella-battle in some rich dudes gigantic cellar? Really?) Hoping for a better PP3 🙂

  6. Lucy says:

    I love, love, love Elizabeth! And good for her for making this decision.

  7. Michelle says:

    I just have to say that both my husband and 20 year old son (who are manly men that worship ESPN) have an unnatural fondness for PP and PP2. Every time it is on TV, they HAVE to watch it. We even have them on our DVR and when nothing else is on, they will watch one. When PP2 came out, my husband even came to the movies with me and my daughters friends to watch it. God help me when PP3 comes out!!

  8. Ruyana says:

    I really didn’t like Fat Amy’s character in PP2. The “humor” was so toilet-centered and crude I couldn’t handle it. And “Bumper” makes me really ill. They need to back off on the Fat Amy and Bumper romance. Also, if they don’t sign on Ester Dean they’re making a major mistake because she’s the very best singer in the group. The others are good, but Ester is the best.