The pieces are very quickly falling into place for Pitch Perfect 2. We knew Universal had been working on a sequel to 2012’s surprise hit Pitch Perfect for some time, and a couple of weeks ago the studio announced that Elizabeth Banks—who produced and starred in the original—would be making her directorial debut on the sequel. At the time not much was known about the follow-up but stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson were expected to reprise their roles, and now the official Pitch Perfect Twitter aca-confirms that Kendrick and Wilson have indeed closed their deals to star in Pitch Perfect 2. The actresses have been plenty busy since the release of the first film, as Wilson leads the ABC sitcom Super Fun Night and Kendrick plays Cinderella in the upcoming Disney musical Into the Woods.
No other cast members for Pitch Perfect 2 have been announced, but expect that to change soon. Kay Cannon is returning to pen the screenplay, and filming will get underway later this year in anticipation of the film’s prime May 15, 2015 release date.
The Pitch Perfect sequel is forging ahead, albeit with a different director at its helm. Elizabeth Banks, who conceived of the idea for the first film in addition to producing and co-starring in it, will make her feature directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, replacing the first film’s director Jason Moore. THR reports that Banks will also return in an acting capacity for the Universal Pictures follow-up in addition to producing the pic, with Pitch Perfect stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson likely to return. Plot details for Pitch Perfect 2 are unknown at this time, but Kay Cannon will also be returning to write the script.
This is a big get for Banks and also excellent news in a world where too few films are directed by women. The very funny actress/producer has previously directed a few shorts, but Pitch Perfect 2 will be her first time taking the helm of a major feature film. The first pic was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2012, so here’s hoping the humor and chemistry holds over for the sequel. Bringing Kendrick and Wilson back onboard is an excellent—and crucial—start. Watch the trailer for the first film after the jump.
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
Here’s a look at the latest casting news from some upcoming films:
- Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) is set to join Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan and Ricky Gervais in Shawn Levy’s Night At The Museum 3, opening Christmas Day.
- Elijah Wood (Sin City) will lead a British cast in the indie 1950s period picture, Set Fire to the Stars, with Andy Goddard co-writing and directing.
- James Marsden (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) has been offered the lead in the Michael Hoffman-directed Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Best of Me, replacing the late Paul Walker.
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
The new ABC series Super Fun Night, premiering on October 2nd, is an outrageous new comedy about what happens when you decide to live life outside your comfort zone. Junior attorney Kimmie Boubier (Rebel Wilson) and her two best friends and roommates (Liz Lapira, Lauren Ash) have lived a sheltered life where, instead of going out on the weekends, they’ve had a standing date every Friday night. As her life unexpectedly starts to open up, Kimmie convinces her friends that life isn’t just for the pretty and the popular, and that it’s time for them to put themselves out there.
While at the ABC portion of the TCA Press Tour, show star/creator/co-executive producer/writer Rebel Wilson and executive producer Conan O’Brien talked about how they came to be working together, that the scenes are inspired by real life, why the decision was made for Kimmie to be American, how they’re finding a balance with the humor to keep the character likeable, and how the series has changed since it was a multi-cam comedy at CBS. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
While Rebel Wilson’s hosting gig at the MTV Movie Awards this past Sunday may not have been a hit with everyone, her performance with fellow Pitch Perfect cast members must have struck a chord. Universal announced today during its presentation at CinemaCon that sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit is now in development for a planned 2015 release, and original writer Kay Cannon (30 Rock) is back on board as well. Pitch Perfect focused on the world of collegiate a capella groups, detailing the struggles of an all-female group, the Barden Bellas, who desperately want to redeem themselves at the national championships.
The cast featured Wilson, Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Hanna Mae Lee, and Ben Platt. No word on if the entire cast, director Jason Moore, or producer and cast member Elizabeth Banks are returning, but as development progresses, we can expect those announcements to be released. Hit the jump for more.
Paramount Pictures has released the first two clips from director Michael Bay’s dark comedy Pain & Gain. The film is based on a true story and stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as two bodybuilders who get caught up in an extortion ring and kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. The first clip focuses more on the film’s humor than its flashy visuals, as we see Anthony Mackie’s bodybuilder character receiving questionable health care from a characteristically humorous Rebel Wilson. The second clip shows the three of them trying to kidnap someone.
Hit the jump to watch the clips. The film also stars Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, and Bar Paly. Pain & Gain opens on April 26th.
The voice cast for DreamWorks Animation’s sequel Kung Fu Panda 3 is starting to fill out quite nicely. Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, and other unspecified actors are reprising their roles from the first two animated films, but Heat Vision reports that Bryan Cranston, Mads Mikkelsen, and Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) have also been set as new additions to the film. Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson returns to helm the follow-up, which also sees the return of executive producer Guillermo del Toro, producer Melissa Cobb, co-producer Jeffrey Hermann, and writers/co-producers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger.
Story details are firmly under wraps, but the ending of Kung Fu Panda 2 provides a strong hint that the third film will involve Black’s Po meeting his real father. Del Toro previously told us that Kung Fu Panda 3 has “the most formidable villain in the series,” and either Cranston or Mikkelsen would certainly fit that bill. Additionally, Kung Fu Panda 3 will now open on December 23, 2015 instead of March 2016.
Paramount Pictures has unveiled some new images and a couple of TV spots for director Michael Bay’s upcoming dark comedy Pain & Gain. Based on a true story, the film stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as two bodybuilders who get caught up in an extortion ring and kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. We recently got a look at a red-band trailer for the film that highlighted the pic’s more comedic aspects, and these images tease the characters played by Rebel Wilson and Ed Harris as well as inform us that Wahlberg and Johnson are indeed cool guys who don’t look at explosions.
Hit the jump to check out the images and TV spots. The film also stars Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, and Bar Paly. Pain & Gain opens on April 26th.
A new red-band trailer and some images for director Michael Bay’s upcoming dark comedy Pain & Gain have been released online. Based on a true story, the film stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as two bodybuilders who get caught up in an extortion ring and kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. The main focus of this trailer is on the film’s humor, some of which is great (Rebel Wilson and Wahlberg’s closing rant are highlights), while other jokes seem a bit forced and are reminiscent of the more juvenile stuff in Bay’s Transformers franchise. Nevertheless, I’m very excited about the prospect of Bay tackling this “small-scale” true crime story, and Wahlberg and Johnson look to make a great comedic pairing.
Hit the jump to watch the new red-band trailer and to check out the new images. The film also stars Anthony Mackie, Rob Corddry, Ed Harris, and Tony Shalhoub. Pain & Gain opens on April 26th.
Paramount has released a new TV spot for director Michael Bay’s incredibly promising black comedy Pain & Gain. Based on a true story, the film stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as two bodybuilders who get caught up in an extortion ring and kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. The film’s first trailer is fantastic, and this TV spot does a great job of showcasing that pic’s charm and comedy. Pain & Gain looks like it could actually be Bay’s most entertaining film yet, but I have a feeling they’re keeping some of the story’s more sordid details under wraps. The real life ordeal is fairly horrific, though I expect Wahlberg and Johnson will bring enough levity/ridiculousness to the film to make it palatable.
Hit the jump to watch the latest TV spot. Anthony Mackie, Rob Corddry, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, and Rebel Wilson co-star. Pain & Gain opens April 26, 2013.
Though formulaic to a fault, Pitch Perfect is the sort of film where you know pretty much everything that’s going to happen, but you enjoy the ride anyway. Anna Kendrick leads a charming ensemble of girls who are in an a cappella singing group that competes in nationals. Is it Bring it On meets Glee? Yes, but… it works. Our review of Pitch Perfect on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
At a time when the East Coast is being savaged by what could be one of the most devastating storms on record in Hurricane Sandy, Yahoo has decided to release a trailer for Struck by Lightning. Whether this is an innocent oversight or a callous PR move, don’t blame the filmmakers. Among them are writer/star Chris Colfer, who is best known for his role on Fox’s Glee but channels his high school angst into this new teen dramedy feature. Directed by Brian Dannelly (Saved!), Struck by Lightning follows Carson Phillips (Colfer), a misunderstood teen who uses blackmail as a last resort to catapult him towards his dream of becoming editor of The New Yorker. The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Sarah Hyland, Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks, Allie Grant, and Angela Kinsey. Hit the jump to check out the new trailer.
The hilarious new comedy Pitch Perfect, from director Jason Moore (Broadway’s Avenue Q) and screenwriter Kay Cannon (New Girl, 30 Rock), tells the story of Beca (Anna Kendrick), a young woman who dreams of being a music producer, but who instead finds herself at Barden University in an all-female a cappella singing group. With both new takes on old favorites and hits of right now, The Bellas fight to climb their way to the top of the cutthroat world of college music competitions. The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin, Adam Devine, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks.
At the film’s press junket, the incredibly funny Aussie actress Rebel Wilson, who plays the super-confident Fat Amy, talked about how getting the role in Bridesmaids (her first American job) changed things for her, how she sang the Lady Gaga song “Edge of Glory” for her Pitch Perfect audition, that she got to do a lot of improvising on set, just how outrageous things got between her and co-star Adam Devine (who plays the self-obsessed lead singer of rival group The Treblemakers), and her favorite song to sing in the film. She also talked about how she went from being a junior handler at dog shows in Australia to an actress, some crazy experiences she had in the theater (one of which included her actually falling off of the roof, in Fiddler on the Roof), how she’s just starting to be able to enjoy all of her current success, and that she’s developing a TV show for ABC, called Super Fun Night. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Anna Kendrick is becoming an actress I trust instinctively. I love watching her on screen, so if I am not sure about a movie, her presence will nudge me to go see. Pitch Perfect is a good test case. It’s a snarky college movie, which can be good but often isn’t. The Kendrick Factor makes me want to check it out though, and it helps that the movie has been getting great early buzz. Even if you haven’t fallen for Kendrick as hard as I have, you can check out 7 clips from Pitch Perfect to get a sense of the movie after the jump.
Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Alexis Knapp, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Adam Devine also star in the acapella comedy. Directed by Jason Moore, Pitch Perfect opens October 5.