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Elizabeth Banks Says Parental Duties Kept Her from Directing ‘Pitch Perfect 3’

Elizabeth Banks said her parental duties drove her decision to leave the directing gig for “Pitch Perfect 3.”

“My parental responsibilites are the reason why,” said Banks on Saturday at the Producers Guild’s Produced By conference on the Sony lot.

“Pitch Perfect 2” was Banks’ directing debut. She said that she had been planning to direct during the summer but the recent decision to move the third film’s release back to Christmas 2017 created a conflict with her obligations to her two children.

“The new schedule butts up against my parental responsibilities in a way I’m not really comfortable with,” she said. 

Banks and spouse Max Handelman will remain as producers on the franchise through their Brownstone banner. They both appeared on the opening panel at the conference with Dan Lin moderating.

“Development always takes longer than you expect it to,” she said. “We feel obligated to put out the absolute best next movie; we’ve been developing our asses off.”

Universal recently pushed the release date from July 21, 2017 to December 22, 2017. Banks indicated Saturday that her departure as director was amicable.

Popular on Variety

Variety first reported Banks had departed “Pitch Perfect 3” on Friday.

“This third one is hard to figure out what the story is,” she noted at one point.

Banks also will reprise her role as competition commentator Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger. 2012’s “Pitch Perfect” was a surprise hit with $117 million worldwide on a $17 million budget and “Pitch Perfect 2” was a blockbuster which grossed $285 million worldwide including $183 million domestically.

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow are all signed on to return as Barden Bellas 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.

Dan Lin, who worked with Banks on “The Lego Movie,” moderated the session.

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