My freshman-year college roommate had been in an a capella group in high school. They’d competed in a national competition, and the performance had been recorded. Every day after class he listened to that tape. If there are 180 days in a school year, he listened to it 180 times. Or maybe more; somedays he’d play it on repeat, or follow it up with a CD by Rockapella (yes, the a capella group that did the Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? theme song).
This is a long-winded way of saying that I don’t dislike a capella music, but I have been emotionally scarred by extended forced exposure to it. Years of intensive therapy has healed most of the emotional scars, but at any moment the sound of four-part harmony can send me spiraling into a pit of aca-despair. And yet despite my sonic proclivities, I was impressed with and entertained by Pitch Perfect, the 2012 film about a women’s a capella group in college, directed by Jason Moore. I would have liked their singing to sound more Les-Miserables-live-on-set and less pre-recorded and mixed in a studio, but film had a sharp sense of humor and style that made it stand out from the crowd in the world of college comedies.
The $17 million dollar movie wound up grossing over $113 million worldwide. So it’s time for an encore; The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Universal is readying Pitch Perfect 2 and Elizabeth Banks, the original film’s co-star and producer, will replace Moore as director. Universal chairman Donna Langley told THR:
“Elizabeth originated the idea for Pitch Perfect and was instrumental in making the first film such a huge success. 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.”
Banks has previously directed several shorts, and a segment in last year’s anthology comedy Movie 43. THR says Pitch Perfect stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are “likely to return” for the sequel, which will be important; their timing and attitude (not to mention their singing voices) were crucial to the first film’s success. While the rest of the cast is locked in and pre-production continues, I will leave you with this.