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Elizabeth Banks will direct 'Pitch Perfect' sequel

Aca-awesome!

Elizabeth Banks is set to make her directing debut in the upcoming Pitch Perfect sequel, EW has confirmed.

“Elizabeth originated the idea for Pitch Perfect and was instrumental in making the first film such a huge success,” said Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley in a 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.”

Banks, who co-starred and produced the original, will continue with those roles as well in the sequel to the hit 2012 musical comedy. Although no casting announcements have been announced, The Hollywood Reporter quotes insiders saying that Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are likely to return. No plot information for Pitch Perfect 2 has been released, but the script will be written by Kay Cannon, the original screenwriter.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed for more Benji.

Sundance 2014: Elizabeth Banks searches for some hands-on healing in 'Little Accidents' -- VIDEO

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Tragedy brings two broken souls together in director/writer Sara Colangelo’s debut feature film, Little Accidents. Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) plays the wife of a mining executive whose son goes missing and befriends the only survivor after a mining accident rattles their small town.

Chris Columbus serves as executive producer on the film and has a very personal connection to the dangerous trade. EW’s Anthony Breznican sat down at Sundance to talk with the cast — Banks, Boyd Holbrook (Hatfields & McCoys), and Jacob Lofland (Mud) — as well as Columbus and Colangelo about the film and the director’s maiden cinematic voyage.

Watch the exclusive interview below:
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Casting Net: Keira Knightley heads to 1920s New York; Plus, Elizabeth Banks joins Beach Boys biopic, Martin Starr meets 'Veronica Mars,' more

• Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina) is attached to produce and star in an adaptation of Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist for Fox Searchlight. Set in 1923, the story follows Rose, a typist for the New York City Police Department. She’s old-fashioned and set in her ways till she befriends the new woman in the office, Odalie, who is glamorous and modern and loves to have fun at speakeasies. But Rose gets a little obsessed, hence the comparisons to The Talented Mr. Ripley. There’s no director attached yet. Knightley will be appearing next alongside Chris Pine in Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan (in theaters December 25), and with Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine in Can a Song Save Your Life. [THR]
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'Catching Fire' trailer: 'Because of her, they all pose a threat' -- VIDEO

We saw teaselet for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘s first official trailer earlier this week, but the full cornucopia of goodness spilled out during the final moments of tonight’s MTV Movie Awards — complete with a literally fiery intro by star Liam Hemsworth. Was it worth the wait? Watch and decide for yourself below. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Kristen Stewart to play a muse; Plus Ellen Page's directorial debut, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, and more

• Kristen Stewart and Elizabeth Banks have signed on to star in the upcoming film The Big Shoe. Directed by Steven Shainberg (Secretary), the film is about a brilliant shoe designer (Jim Sturgess) whose mother (Susan Sarandon) wants him to get into the lucrative knock-off business. When he tries to go off on his own, she hires a “muse” (Stewart) and a therapist (Banks) to try to convince him to do her bidding. [THR]

• Anna Faris is set to star in Ellen Page’s directorial debut Miss Stevens about a depressed teacher forced to chaperone a group of high school students on a trip to a state drama competition. Miss Stevens will apparently discover her own self-worth over the course of the weekend thanks to her students, making it sound like it could be a huge departure from the types of comedies Faris generally stars in. [THR]

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Michael Showalter dishes on 'Wet Hot American Summer' prequel

Camp Firewood fans, get ready for even more bbq sauce.

Michael Showalter, one of the writers and stars of 2001’s cult favorite Wet Hot American Summer, confirmed in February that a sequel was in the works. Now, in an appearance yesterday on Geeking Out with Kerri Doherty, he teased some details about the new film, Slashfilm reports. Watch the video after the jump. READ FULL STORY

New 'Movie 43' poster as saucy as the celeb-filled movie -- EXCLUSIVE

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What’s curvaceous and a bit naughty, with a greenish palor? This exclusive poster, below, for the upcoming mega celebrity-filled ensemble comedy Movie 43!

Touted as “The biggest cast every assembled, for the most outrageous comedy ever made,” the poster boasts a bada-boom outline of a greenish woman’s body with the movie’s title as the, er, crotch clincher. Helmed by several directors, including Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber), the film stars a serious litany of A-list names, including — take a long breath — Halle Berry, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Chloe Moretz, Justin Long, Leslie Bibb, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, and Uma Thurman.

“Never before have such huge actors pushed the envelope so much,” Farrelly told EW last month, giving us the lowdown on scenes ranging from Winslet on a crazy blind date with Jackman to a potty-mouthed Watts and her real-life love Schreiber playing parents home-schooling their son by totally demeaning him. The movie’s set for release in theaters Jan. 25, 2013.

For more film news

Read more:
‘Movie 43′ trailer: Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, and Emma Stone get their NSFW on
‘Movie 43′ co-director Peter Farrelly praises comedic Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts — EXCLUSIVE
‘Movie 43′: Exclusive First Look!

'The Details': Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks talk raccoons -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

The Details, out in theaters this Friday, follows the travails of a husband, played by a dopey-faced Tobey Maguire, whose wandering eye and utter boredom with his life leads to infidelity and even darker acts. Check out this clip, below, with Maguire excitedly talking about a guy asphyxiating raccoons to his over-it wife, reading in bed, played by Elizabeth Banks. After the conversation escalates, Banks blurts out, “Don’t deny using a tone when you use a tone. I’m not crazy, I know what I just heard!” To which Maguire replies, “I didn’t call you crazy.” Ah, domestic un-bliss. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Woody Harrelson, Martin Sheen pair up for Sept. 11 drama. Plus: Elizabeth Banks, Diane Kruger, Willem Dafoe

Woody Harrelson and Martin Sheen are set to star in the drama September Morn, framed around the events of Sept. 11, 2001. B.J. Davis is directing from a screenplay by Howard Cohen. The movie revolves around a group that questions the independent investigation into the terrorist attacks. Harrelson has been making comic waves recently as a killer crime boss in the bloody comedy Seven Psychopaths.
[Deadline]

• Comedic blondie Elizabeth Banks has signed on to star in the comedy Walk of Shame, about a news anchor who goes on a zany trek across Los Angeles after a booze-filled one-night stand. Filmmaker Steve Brill is helming the project from his own script. Banks has been on the rise thanks to her role as colorful Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games. The sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is currently filming. [Variety] READ FULL STORY

'Movie 43' co-director Peter Farrelly praises comedic Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts -- EXCLUSIVE

Peter Farrelly has never turned up his nose at total silliness, directing such raunchy comedies such as There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber with his brother Bobby. But collaborating as one of a dozen directors on the upcoming ensemble comedy Movie 43 had its own unique perks, not the least of which was getting to see a slew of A-list stars such as Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet let loose.

The movie, set to release Jan. 25, 2013, has a cast and story as celebrity-steeped and plot-twisty as a Robert Altman film crossed with the shameless spunkiness of Jackass. In addition to Watts and Winslet, it includes appearances by: Elizabeth Banks, Halle Berry, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Chloe Moretz, Justin Long, Leslie Bibb, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, and Uma Thurman. Whoosh, that’s a mouthful. With all those actors, more than 15 writers, and several directors, including Farrelly and actress Banks herself, the movie took several years to make.

“It’s the brainchild of Charlie Wessler, who produced most of our movies. Never before have such huge actors pushed the envelope so much,” said Farrelly by phone. “Charlie knows all these people. He went to them, huge stars, like Kate Winslet, and she said, ‘I’m shooting this movie, I’m not free for a year and a half.’ This movie was made over four years, and they just had to wait for a year or two years for different actors. They would shoot for a week, and shut down for several months. Same thing with the directors. It was the type of movie you could come back to.”

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