The actress Elizabeth Banks will make her feature directorial debut with “Pitch Perfect 2,” a sequel to the hit 2012 musical comedy about an all-girls a cappella singing group, a Universal Pictures spokesperson confirmed Monday.
Banks, who produced the original and had a supporting role as an inappropriately frank color commentator, will reprise those duties in the sequel as well, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are also expected to return. Kay Cannon, who wrote “Pitch Perfect,” will pen the sequel.
“Pitch Perfect” followed a college freshman and aspiring music producer (Kendrick) who reluctantly joined a female singing group and helped shake up its stuffy approach to performing. The film became a surprise hit, grossing $65 million domestically and more than $115 million worldwide on a modest $17-million budget. It was also one of the top-performing DVD and VOD titles in 2013 and scored a top 10 Billboard single with “Cups” nearly a year after the film opened in theaters.
The film was also directed by a first-timer, veteran theater helmer Jason Moore. Moore is next set to direct a live-action “Archie” movie.
Universal originally announced “Pitch Perfect 2" in April at Cinemacon. The film is expected in 2015.
Banks, best known for her work in front of the camera, will next contribute her voice to the upcoming “Lego Movie” and reprise her role as Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" in November.
Her directorial resume is sparser, with a couple of short films and a segment of the anthology comedy “Movie 43" to her credit. That last film will no doubt give “Pitch Perfect” fans pause, since it was a critical and box office dud.
According to Sheri Linden’s review of “Movie 43" for The Times, however, Banks "happens to have directed one of the better segments, featuring Chloe Grace Moretz and using the occasion of a seventh-grader’s first period as a showcase for male hysteria.”
Now we’ll see if Banks can hit the right note with a full feature.