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Elizabeth Banks Exits as Director of ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The Barden Bellas are in need of a new captain, as sources tell Variety that Elizabeth Banks will no longer helm “Pitch Perfect 3.”

Banks isn’t leaving the franchise in favor of a specific project, sources say, but her increasingly packed schedule did play a part in her exit as director.

Universal recently pushed the release date from July 21, 2017 to December 22, 2017. Sources say her departure was amicable.

Banks will continue to serve as producer, a job she has held since the first film, and will reprise her role as Gail. She helmed the most recent installment which grossed $285 million worldwide including $183 million domestically.

Pitch Perfect 3” now becomes one of the town’s hottest directing assignments given the success of the previous two installments. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow are all signed on to return with Kay Cannon penning the script.

Joining Banks as producers are Paul Brooks and Scott Niemyer of Gold Circle Films.

Banks can be seen next as the villain in Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers” reboot. She is also attached to direct films including a “Charlie Angels” reboot at Sony and “Red Queen” for Universal.

She is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.

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