EW’s latest cover is an all-access, exclusive peek behind the scenes of next summer’s highly anticipated musical comedy Pitch Perfect 2. The movie takes place 3 years after the first film, with the Barden Bellas ruling the collegiate a cappella world. But then something happens. “They are prohibited—and I won’t say why—from competing at the collegiate level,” says director Elizabeth Banks, who produced the original and appears again as judge Gail. “So they are sort of forced to enter a professional world competition in order to be reinstated.” Here’s what else you need to know about PP2.
1. The Musical Numbers Are A Ca-Amazing
Banks says that, due to the stakes, the Bellas have to go big or go home in the sequel. “It is bigger,” says the actress. “It’s more global, certainly. Because of that, the performance numbers aren’t in, like, teeny auditoriums this time around. The Bellas are sort of famous. You gotta put some lasers in there, because you can have that in your backyard BBQ nowadays.”
2. Rebel Wilson Does Death-Defying Stuntwork
The actress told EW on the set that this go round will be much more physical for her character, Fat Amy. “I’ve been training with this coach from Cirque du Soleil for the opening sequence,” reveals Wilson. “It is a little bit, inspired by Pink’s performance, and it is extremely difficult. They couldn’t get a stunt double my size to do it. So they said, ‘Let’s just make Rebel do it. Is she afraid of heights? Yes? Let’s just put her up there. That should be hilarious.'”
3. There’s Another “Riff Off”
The sequel’s version takes place in the mansion of an a cappella aficionado played by David Cross (Arrested Development). You will hear a cappella versions of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”
4. Not Everyone Is Still a Bella
Aubrey, played by Anna Camp (True Blood), does return, but is no longer in the Bellas: “She did graduate, and she did move on. She’s part of like, ‘This is what the future can look like.'”
5. But Some Bellas Can’t Let Go
Meanwhile, Chloe is still in college. “When I was asking about the sequel, I was so worried I wasn’t going to be in it because my character was supposed to graduate,” admits Snow. “But because Chloe is so passionate about singing and being a part of the Bellas and being a part of a family, she intentionally failed [for] four years.”
6. The Boys Are Back
Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, and Adam Devine all return as Jesse, Benj, and Bumper, respectively. Speaking of…
7. Bumper and Fat Amy Get. It. On.
Yep, you read that correctly. “She’s really freaky, and he’s like, ‘Okay, I guess I’ll do that,'” says screenwriter Kay Cannon.
8. The New Bella
Hailee Steinfeld (Begin Again) joins the team as the sadly named Emily Junk, who’s a legacy thanks to her mother, played by Sons of Anarchy‘s Katey Sagal. “She doesn’t want to pull the card,” says Steinfeld. “She has her insecurities and she wants to know that she is a Bella because she’s a great singer and she’s a great performer.”
9. Anna Kendrick and Kate Mara Can Never Be in the Same Room
PP2 and The Fantastic Four, featuring Mara, were both shot in Baton Rouge, La., which allowed the actresses to hang out. But never again. Explains Kendrick, “I had dinner with Kate Mara and we wore the exact same leather jacket. It’s like a white leather jacket and she wore hers in pink. It was very conspicuous. I only even introduced myself to her at the Met Gala because I was like, ‘People come up to me all the time and say, ‘Sorry about that train!” I have to tell them I am not Zoe Barnes from House of Cards. So then we decided to have dinner, and we showed up in the same f***ing jacket. We were like, ‘We can never hang out again. This is the worst. This is humiliating.'”
10. There Could Be a Pitch Perfect 3
That is, if PP2 does well this summer. Says Universal’s co-President of Production Peter Cramer, “We’re definitely starting to think about it but we don’t know specifically what it would be just yet.”