"Pitch Perfect 2" is breaking all kinds of records: it topped the box office for its opening week, with no signs of slowing down. It had a monster opening with $69.2 million, by no means anything to sniff at.
Banks produced the first installment of "Pitch Perfect," and was instrumental in getting the movie made as an adaptation of the non-fiction Mickey Rapkin book of the same title. When the time came for a sequel, Banks stepped up: "I got a call that said, 'we think a young female director should take over the helm.’ And I said, 'I’m so glad you think I’m young,'" she told NPR. Thus, her directorial debut was locked.
And it's been a success: not only has Banks' movie made, well, bank, but has scored solid reviews, currently riding at 68 percent fresh on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. It's time to talk about where Banks is headed next.
As has been highlighted in the ongoing push for civil rights for female directors, male directors who drop successful indies are often handed giant studio franchises for their next film. However, we don't see many female directors going from a film with a modest budget to a major project, the Sundance to Marvel leap.
That needs to change. Why not make Banks, an established Hollywood presence on screen and a proven success as a director with "Pitch Perfect 2," a big-time player? Give her a franchise! And we have the perfect one in mind.
Let's have Elizabeth Banks direct "23 Jump Street."
It makes total sense: Banks has shown that she has the chops to direct a large-scale, successful comedy. She's already jumped in mid-franchise. She's directed major stars. Why not give her Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, a fantastic script and a ton of money to work with?
It feels like this is an opportunity to break the pattern that female filmmakers so often fall into. After directing a successful, female-led movie, it wouldn't be too surprising if Banks was next handed a romance or another movie starring women, marketed specifically to women. There's nothing wrong with those movies! But in the spirit of parity, let's try something new. As a director, let's put Banks on the main stage instead of a niche. She would excel with a broad comedy with an ensemble cast, movies that are typically turned over to male directors.
While we love Phil Lord and Chris Miller, if they're not going to direct the threequel (and they're not committed to it as of yet), let's try something totally new. The top-grossing comedies record holder list is littered with male directors: "Home Alone" (Chris Columbus), "Meet the Fockers" (Jay Roach), "The Hangover" (Todd Phillips)...the list goes on. Wouldn't it be great to see Banks take her place among them?
What do you think Elizabeth Banks' next directing project should be?