Pitch Perfect was a huge hit, but Elizabeth Banks did even better with Pitch Perfect 2, nearly doubling the original film's box office. The amazing part is that it marked her directorial debut, and that success obviously booked her for a return behind the camera for Pitch Perfect 3. But with the sequel getting pushed back it seems Banks' schedule is no longer so wide open.
THR reports that Banks has dropped out of Pitch Perfect 3, noting that her "increasingly packed schedule did play a part in her exit". They didn't cite any particular film she'd be moving on to, but Banks has been eyeing a Charlie's Angels relaunch as well as an adaptation of YA novel Red Queen, so it could be that she's decided to move ahead on those. That said, Banks took time to hit Twitter and ensure fans she'll remain part of the Barden Bellas' story, both as a producer and as the obnoxious commentator, Gail...
Though I won't be directing #PitchPerfect3, I'll continue to oversee PP3 as Producer & return as 'GAIL'. Prepare for a very #MerryPitchmas!— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) June 3, 2016
Another issue may have been Universal's decision to move the film from its July 2017 date all the way to December 22nd. While it's definitely a more lucrative slot, the wait may have been more than Banks could afford if she wanted to keep her other gigs. So now the search is on for a new director who can work with returning stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and Hailee Steinfeld along with screenwriter Kay Cannon.