Pitch Perfect 2: Elizabeth Banks 'actively looking' for next directing project
News broke last week that Elizabeth Banks is in talks to direct a Charlie’s Angels reboot, just months after her directorial debut hit theaters. While she has yet to comment on the chatter, EW caught up with the actress upon the DVD release of Pitch Perfect 2, as she eyes her next project.
“I love acting, it’s my first passion and love and requires way less time, but I really enjoyed directing,” the 41-year-old Banks told EW. “I’m actively looking to do more of it. I’m really excited to direct again.”
After years spent in front of the camera, Banks took a seat in the director’s chair for Pitch Perfect 2. She came into the opportunity after Jason Moore, who directed the first movie, wasn’t available for the second installment. (He directed Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Sisters.)
“It sort of chose me,” Banks explained. “I happened to just be in the right place at the right time. I was working toward directing – I’d been working on directing and short films and some commercials and really looking for a feature to work on. Frankly, I’m lucky in that I was a third of the decision-making process and then the other third was my husband [producer Max Handelman] and the other third was my producing partner Paul [Brooks], who was a huge supporter of me directing. It became a really natural idea, natural fit.”
Banks brought her experience and familiarity from the beloved first film to the process, offering direction to stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and new addition Hailee Steinfeld, among others, as the college a capella group Barden Bellas made it to the international stage. Banks told EW that the song selection was “painstaking” — from “the arrangement to the choreography to who’s gonna sing what,” but also essential to her favorite part of the movie.
“The riff-off in the basement… I just loved having all those groups together – all the actors were having so much fun,” she said. “We shot that sequence halfway through production and it was such a great injection of energy for everybody to be together and to have the Green Bay Packers and the Trebles and the Bellas, I just loved it.”
As to how Green Bay Packers players Clay Matthews, David Bakhtiari, Don Barclay, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, and Jordan Rodgers made their way into the comedy, Banks explained that Bakhtiari, an offensive lineman for the team, tweeted about loving the first movie. A DM session followed, and the rest wound up as Pitch Perfect history. “I thought, ‘What would be more amazing than to have these giant guys come in and be part of the riff off?’ These super competitive athletes come in and be really competitive against our Bellas and take it really seriously,” Banks said.
And while Pitch Perfect 2 has come and gone from theaters (and will rise again thanks to the film’s DVD and Blu-ray release, out now), Banks may have the chance to bring more surprises to the Bellas, as Pitch Perfect 3 is in the works.
“It is in development,” Banks said of the third film, which will arrive in theaters on July 21, 2017. “We are hard at work on figuring out what the next chapter for the Barden Bellas is going to be. They’re gonna sing, they’re gonna dance, and they’re gonna be funny… I don’t want to give anything away!”
Check out an exclusive clip from the Blu-ray and DVD release of Pitch Perfect 2 below.
Pitch Perfect 2