Elizabeth Banks exits as director of 'Pitch Perfect 3' (EXCLUSIVE)

Elizabeth Banks Won't Direct 'Pitch Perfect 3' Anymore

The "Pitch Perfect" franchise looks to be in need of a new captain to steer the ship, 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.

PHOTOS: Who should be in 'Pitch Perfect 3'

Who should be in Pitch Perfect 3
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Elizabeth Banks exits as director of 'Pitch Perfect 3' (EXCLUSIVE)

Who wouldn't love Zac Efron to join the aca-awesome cast? The heart throb made his singing and acting debut in the "High School Musical" trilogy. We see him as a past friend of Jesse's who might be a tad too flirtatious with Beca.

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for MTV)

You know her from "Pretty Little Liars" -- the petite starlet has became a teen sensation of this century. She's even released a country album "The Road Between." Is there anything she can't do? She'd be a perky, charismatic addition to the Bellas.

(Photo by David Buchan/Getty Images)

If you missed him in "Glee" as a member of the Warblers, you missed out. Let's face it, Criss is basically the musical theater geek you always wish you were buds with and he's got the voice and moves to prove it. Watching him lead a Katy Perry mashup for "Pitch Perfect 3" would basically make our day.

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Made famous in "Gossip Girl," Meester has dabbled in television, film, and music alike. She recently debuted on Broadway in "Of Mice and Men" in addition to releasing her first album last fall. Think she could play Kendrick's older sis?

(Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

The "Jealous" singer, who has held down several big Broadway parts, could definitely be a strong fit for the men's group. Plus, can't you just see him being the cocky kid with a great voice that gives Rebel Wilson a hard time?

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

You might've seen Spears as the lead in Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101" but you probably didn't know she's also a bonafide country singer! The double threat released her debut album 'The Journey' back in 2014 and we'd love to see her play the enemy bad girl opposite of Anna Kendrick.​ 

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

The reigning queen bee of "Glee" is free from the halls of William McKinley High School following this year's final season, which means she's open for business on the big screen. Rachel Berry aka Michele would be a phenomenal fit for the Bellas. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
You might've forgotten that Nikki Blonsky was the leading lady in 2007's "Hairspray" but she's also held many television and film gigs since. We peg her as another bad girl alongside Spears. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
We saw her showcase her vocal chops in "Into the Woods" this year -- and in case you didn't know -- Blunt also has a serious funny bone. She's likely too old to make the Bellas squad, but that doesn't mean she can't hit a high note as a coach or a mentor. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)

Like Blunt, Bell's got comedic chops and a killer voice (hello, "Frozen"), which is why it only makes sense for her to bring some aca-awesomeness to the "Pitch Perfect" crew.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


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