Actress and producer Elizabeth Banks is making her feature directorial debut with Universal’s Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to the 2012 $115M hit about a college student who joins an a capella group. Banks, who’s set to appear in a run of upcoming pics including WB’s The Lego Movie and the YA sequel The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, produced the first Pitch Perfect after shepherding it from Mickey Rapkin’s book to screen. She also turned in a small comedic role playing a singing competition commentator in the first film, which went on to become a breakout hit worldwide and on DVD/VOD with a Billboard-charting soundtrack album. In addition to helming Banks will also produce with Max Handelman for Brownstone Productions alongside Gold Circle Films’ Paul Brooks. Pitch Perfect scribe Kay Cannon (30 Rock, New Girl) is returning to script the sequel and will co-produce with Gold Circle’s Jeff Levine. Scott Niemeyer of Gold Circle will exec produce.
In her first stab at development, hot young comedy writer-producer Kay Cannon (30 Rock) has landed a put pilot commitment at Fox for a female-centered workplace comedy from 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Chernin Entertainment. Described as in the vein of Mary Tyler Moore, the single-camera comedy is set in the offices of an NFL-Sunday-type show and has a strong female lead at the center. In addition to writing, Cannon will executive produce with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.
The untitled project stems from the May overall deal 20th TV signed with Cannon had been pursued by multiple studios. Under the pact, Cannon serves as a co-executive producer on the Fox sophomore comedy New Girl, also from 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment. Second City and UCB alumna Cannon spent the last 6 years on NBC’s Emmy-winning comedy series 30 Rock, starting as a staff writer in Season 1 and rising to supervising producer this season. In 2010 she received an Emmy nomination for co-writing with 30 Rock creator/star Tina Fey the Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter episode of the show. On the feature side, Cannon’s first script, Pitch Perfect, was produced by Universal, and the movie starring Anna Kendrick will be released in October. Cannon is with WME and Brillstein Entertainment.
Cannon’s project fits into Fox’s new brand of female-driven single-camera comedies created by young female comedy writers that started with Liz Meriwether’s New Girl and is …
In a competitive situation with several studios interested, 20th Century Fox TV has signed hot young comedy writer-producer Kay Cannon in an overall deal. She will develop new projects for the studio and will also join 20th TV’s comedy series New Girl as a co-executive producer next season. Second City and UCB alumna Cannon spent the last 6 years on NBC’s Emmy-winning comedy series 30 Rock, starting as a staff writer in Season 1 and rising to supervising producer this season. In 2010 she received an Emmy nomination for co-writing with 30 Rock creator/star Tina Fey the Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter episode of the show. On the feature side, Cannon’s first script, Pitch Perfect, is being produced into a movie distributed by Universal and starring Anna Kendrick. Cannon is with WME and Brillstein Entertainment.
Universal and Gold Circle Films have announced that they teamed to acquire worldwide rights to Pitch Perfect, a musical comedy set in the world of college a cappella groups. Jason Moore will direct from a screenplay by Kay Cannon based on Mickey Rapkin’s nonfiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory. Gold Circle will finance the project and produce it with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman via their Brownstone Productions. Moore, who has directed numerous TV episodes and Shrek the Musical and Avenue Q on Broadway, is repped by WME; Cannon, who has written several episodes of 30 Rock, is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Tina Fey was a good sport about her NBC comedy 30 Rock surrendering the spotlight to new kids Glee and Modern Family this year, issuing two funny statements on two of her nominations for 30 Rock (she also shares a writing nom with Kay Cannon):
- on 30 Rock‘s best series nom: ”This is great news. We’re grateful and excited. Especially since today is the fifth anniversary of the day NBC forgot to cancel us.”
- On her best comedy series nomination: ”This is great and exciting news. Also, this seems like an appropriate time for me to announce to NBC that I will not be renewing my contract… with my gym,” Fey said, echoing Steve Carell’s recent statements that he plans to leave The Office when his contract expires at the end of next season.
30 Rock still did pretty well with 15 nominations, including best comedy series, writing, directing as well as acting noms in all categories except for best supporting actor.