Elizabeth Banks backed out of directing Pitch Perfect 3 because of motherhood duties, she said at a conference panel on Saturday.
Banks—who produced and made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2 —pulled out of directing the third installment after its release date was pushed from summer to winter 2017. During a panel at the PGA’s Produced By Conference, she specifically mentioned her parental schedule as a reason.
“We’ve been in development and it’s taking longer than we thought,” said Banks. “I thought I was going to direct the movie in the summer. It was really important to me to direct the movie in summer because if we pushed into fall it bumped up against my parental responsibilities, which made me feel uncomfortable.” Perhaps it’s progress that Banks felt comfortable enough to publicize her discomfort about mom-related scheduling issues.
Banks’ husband and Brownstone Productions partner Max Handelman, also interviewed on panel, noted that the movie’s newly announced Dec. 22 2017 release date was Universal’s call, and that 2015’s Pitch Perfect 2 had originally been intended for a holiday release.
Banks, who’s one of the few prominent female producer-directors in Hollywood, also talked about how the lack of substantial roles for women pushed her to take more of a leadership role in films.
“I can’t in my soul develop female characters that are arm candy or incidental,” she said. “When you get in this business as an actress, if you’re ambitious, the roles are not that interesting after a while. You play a lot of girlfriends and wives. I wanted more control over how to tell stories.”
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