'Pitch Perfect 2' Lands Newbie Director Elizabeth Banks

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Universal

Despite its seemingly low-key release, 2012's 'Pitch Perfect' was one of the year's biggest surprise hits and most pleasant surprises, grossing $115 million worldwide and winning over even the most cynical of audiences. A sequel was a no brainer, but we've already been thrown a curveball -- original director Jason Moore will not be back and will be replaced by producer and star Elizabeth Banks, making her directorial debut.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news of Banks, whom you may remember from her small but funny role in the first film, where she played one of the commentators who oversaw the film's numerous a cappella competition scenes. If you don't remember her from that, then you surely remember her from being downright awesome in everything from '30 Rock' to 'The Hunger Games.' She'll also return to 'Pitch Perfect 2' to produce and star.

"Elizabeth originated the idea for 'Pitch Perfect' and was instrumental in making the first film such a huge success,” said Donna Langley,Universal Pictures chairman, in a press release. “She brings an enormous amount of energy and experience to everything she works on and we’re thrilled that she is making her feature directorial debut on 'Pitch Perfect 2.'”

While we certainly love Elizabeth Banks the actress, we have no idea what to expect from Elizabeth Banks the director, though she's directed several comedy shorts in the past. To be fair, she helped pull the first film together so we highly doubt she'd allow herself to take a seat behind the camera unless she knew what she was doing. Not to mention the fact that she'd be flying in the face of the Hollywood norm -- a woman director? Gasp! -- which is just plain awesome. 'Pitch Perfect' felt effortless and joyful in every frame, but we bet Banks can recapture that same spirit.

Although it doesn't have a specific release date quite yet, last we heard it was heading for a 2015 slot. The film is being scripted as we speak, and stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson will undoubtedly return.

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