Get your popcorn ready! The Bellas are back in the third instalment in the Pitch Perfect franchise. The first Pitch Perfect film came out of nowhere in 2012, and proved to be the little aca-film that could.
A flat-out fun franchise, these films always bring it when it comes to creative mashups, catchy tunes, and a lot of laughs, so expect more of the same in Pitch Perfect 3. So, before you aca-watch the entire aca-franchise in one day and start adding aca to every word you say, check out these facts about every Pitch Perfect film!
Pitch Perfect is loosely based on the book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin. One of the groups featured in the book—the Hullabahoos—even have a cameo in the film.
44. Just Say What Comes to Mind
Rebel Wilson (Fat Amy) reportedly improvised the majority of her dialogue in the first film, but as the franchise went on she wasn’t the only one. Wilson claimed that the cast improvised a good chunk of the third film because they were so close with one another after working on three films in six years together.
43. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Kay Cannon—screenwriter for Pitch Perfect—initially had 17 songs for the riff-off scene in the script, but it ended up getting trimmed down to eight; the producers couldn’t afford to pay for all of the songs.
42. No Boys Allowed
A good chunk of the male co-stars will not be appearing in Pitch Perfect 3. Adam Devine, Skylar Astin, and Ben Platt will not be reprising their roles as Bumper, Jesse, and Benji, respectively.
Let this be a warning to anyone who works on a film with Devine in the future: If you ask him to throw something, expect him to hit his target. A cameraman on Pitch Perfect learned this the hard way. For the scene in the first movie where Fat Amy gets hit by a burrito, the cameraman told Devine to aim for him to ensure he got the shot, not thinking Devine would actually hit him in the face. Boy, was he wrong.
40. True Story
Unfortunately for Cannon, the burrito scene wasn’t just a funny idea that popped in her head when writing the script. Apparently, this is something that happened to her when she was in college. While jogging down the street, her then-boyfriend drove by with his friends and thought it would be funny to hurl a burrito at her.
39. Quick Paycheck
It only took Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins, who play the commentators, one day to shoot their scenes for the first film.
38. Say Anything but the Breakfast Club
In Pitch Perfect, the John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club plays a prominent role in the storyline involving Beca and Jesse, but this wasn’t always the case. An initial draft of the script had the film Say Anything as the one Beca and Jesse bond over. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see “In Your Eyes” working as well as “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” in the final mash-up song.
There must have been a few Harry Potter fans on the crew for Pitch Perfect, as there is a game of Quidditch going on in the background of the scene where Beca checks out the student fair on campus.
36. Worth Every Penny
It cost the producers of Pitch Perfect 2 $4.5 million for their 30 second ad during the Super Bowl. With a total film budget of $29 million, that works out to 16% of the budget for 30 seconds! The film did go on to gross over $280 million, though.
35. Don’t Mess With the Bellas
Like most sequels, Pitch Perfect 2 felt a lot like the first film, but Pitch Perfect 3 is said to be a mix of genres that blend the musical comedy with some action.
34. Fat Amy–Action Star!
The majority of this action supposedly comes from Fat Amy, who goes from a cappella singer to aca-action star! Wilson even claims she performed her own stunts in the film, which include putting her martial arts training to the test and fighting bad guys, as well as performing a 20-foot jump 10 times.
33. Bless Up
DJ Khaled appears in the third film and plays himself—not a caricature of himself, just simply himself. According to cast members, he was always on, super energetic, and made everyone laugh. He also didn’t bother with the script and apparently improvised the majority of his lines.
32. Keep Them Coming
It’s common for a film franchise to call it quits after the third film—excluding the Fast and Furious franchise, which will go on for eternity—and that seems to be the case for Pitch Perfect. The third installment is being touted as the Farewell Tour, but cast members say that they would love for this franchise to continue for as long as it can. Wilson is even pushing for a Fat Amy spin-off!
Flula Borg—who plays Pieter Kramer in the second film—initially thought his casting in the film was a hoax and someone was playing a prank on him.
30. Too Much on Her Plate
Banks was set to direct the third film, but had to drop out; the filming schedule conflicted with her parental responsibilities and her increasingly packed itinerary. Banks wanted to help put together the best film possible, so she stuck with her minor role and handed off the directing duties to Trish Sie.
29. Know Your Audience
Anna Kendrick revealed that she was told by the higher ups in the studio to wear outfits that were tighter and sexier for the third film. She fought hard against it, arguing that fans weren’t coming to the movies for the sex appeal but to watch a group of misfit women sing some songs and make people laugh.
28. Demi Lovato
Wilson campaigned hard to get Demi Lovato as a Bella in the Pitch Perfect sequel, and even sent her an offer, but Lovato decided she wanted to focus her time on her music career and respectfully declined.
27. Off by a Letter
In Pitch Perfect, Beca tells Jesse that the word “Vader” is actually German for father, which is close, but ultimately wrong. “Vader” is another word for father, but in Dutch, not German. The German word for father is actually “Vater,” which is as close as it can get.
26. Organic Relationship
The relationship storyline between Bumper and Fat Amy was spontaneous, as it slowly grew out of the interactions Devine and Wilson improvised in their scenes together.
25. Quality Bonding Time
There’s no better way to get to know someone than when you’re stuck in an abandoned pool with them at three in the morning during winter, which is why the cast of Pitch Perfect deeply bonded with one another, according to Astin, during the early-morning filming of the riff-off scene.
Even people who haven’t seen Pitch Perfect know the song “Cups” that Beca performs at her Bellas audition. Kendrick actually learned this song on her own—through Reddit—and auditioned with it. Once the producers saw her do it, they decided to put it in the movie.
23. Sing us a Song
Everyone who auditioned for a role in Pitch Perfect had to perform a song to show that they could actually sing. Wilson went with “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga, and Devine chose a TV theme song.
22. John Cusack
Astin was cast in the role of Jesse because producers wanted someone with a John Cusack vibe to them, meaning he had to be “awkward but not a geek, and not so cool that you didn’t want to root for him.” I think any fan of the film will agree that Astin nailed it! Now all we need is for Cusack to play Astin’s dad in a sequel and we can die happy.
21. An Adorable Gangster
It turns out a lot of celebrities were fans of the first Pitch Perfect film, and campaigned to be in the second one, but the award for the most adorable reason why goes to rapper Snoop Dogg. He was a fan of the first film, but the main reason why he asked to be in the sequel was because he knew his daughter, also a fan, would think it was cool.
20. Dress to Impress
Wilson got to choose some of Fat Amy’s wardrobe in Pitch Perfect 3, so she went with clothes from her own clothing line: Rebel Wilson x Angels.
19. There’s Something in Everyone’s Eye
Just because it’s written in the script and happens on the screen doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all an act. According to the cast members, the tears the characters shed at the end of the third film are legit, as they’ve grown close with one another over the years and are not sure when they’ll all be together again.
18. Boot Camp
To prepare for all of the choreographed singing and dancing in the first film, the cast had to take part in a month long singing and dancing boot camp.
17. Keeping it Real
Accents can be tricky and very distracting when done poorly in movies. So it’s not surprising that Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore decided to have Wilson ditch a planned American accent for Fat Amy, and had her use her native Australian accent instead. Anyone who has seen Wilson’s short-lived TV show Super Fun Night knows he made the right call.
16. Kristen Wiig
Banks’ role was originally written for—and offered to—Kristen Wiig, but she had to decline, and Banks, then only a producer on the film, took her place.
15. Packed House
A portion of Pitch Perfect was shot on the Louisiana State University campus, and a special screening of the film was held there. However, so many people showed up that only about half of those waiting in line got in. To make sure everyone got a chance to see the film, they decided to hold a second screening immediately after the first one.
14. More Than Enough
The World Championship scene in Pitch Perfect 2 got bigger and bigger each day they filmed, as people flew from all over the world to be an extra in it. One day over 3,500 extras were being used!
13. Facebook Friends
Pitch Perfect screenwriter Cannon actually asked Wilson through Facebook to audition for the film.
12. Bumper’s Audition
If you saw Pitch Perfect 2 but left the theatre or turned off the TV as soon as the credits began to roll, then you missed a scene that saw Bumper auditioning for The Voice. This scene was filmed during an actual taping of the blind auditions for the show, so they didn’t have to find any extras because there was already a full crowd in attendance.
11. Wilson Takes One for the Team
No stunt double was used to film Wilson’s aerial acrobatics routine at the beginning of Pitch Perfect 2, but it wasn’t by choice. Wilson had to perform the stunt herself or they would’ve had to shoot an entirely different opening for the film because—according to Wilson—aerial acrobatic stunt doubles don’t come in her size.
10. Ask and You Shall Receive
Never has the phrase “it doesn’t hurt to ask” rung any more true than when it comes to Green Bay Packers offensive lineman David Bakhtiari. Being a huge fan of the first film, he tweeted Banks asking her for a cameo in the sequel, and he got his request. He brought along four teammates and they got to participate in the riff-off.
9. Tough Guys Can Sing too
Not only do the Packers nearly steal the movie with their rendition of “Bootylicious,” they also actually sing it themselves too, and even received two song credits on the soundtrack.
8. Let’s Play Ball!
Devine initially thought he was auditioning for a baseball movie because the title had the word “pitch” in it. He quickly realized that wasn’t the case, and even though he was completely unprepared, he still nailed the audition and got the part.
7. Jack of All Trades
Ester Dean—who plays Cynthia Rose in the films—is also a musician who wrote several songs for other artists, including “S&M” for Rihanna, which Dean herself just so happens to sing in the riff-off.
6. The Real Fat Amy
Cannon happens to be good friends with Amy Poehler, a super funny and talented actress known for her role as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation. When Poehler was pregnant, she referred to herself as “Fat Amy,” so Cannon decided to give Wilson’s character that name in honor of her friend.
5. Exceeding Expectations
The sequel earned more money in its domestic opening weekend ($69 million) than the first one did in its entire domestic run ($65 million). The sequel ended up making $287 million total.
4. Having too Much Fun
Astin and Devine filmed a scene for Pitch Perfect 2 that never made the cut because they couldn’t keep it together. They kept laughing during every take, and the breaking point reportedly came after Devine ripped off his shirt and yelled at Astin with his eyes crossed.
3. Live Music
Generally, whenever there is a musical number in a film, the actors lip sync on set and record the actual singing in a recording studio. Pitch Perfect is no different, except for when it comes to Kendrick. Anytime she is seen singing alone on screen in the first film, she was singing live on set.
2. Directing Credit
Banks didn’t take over as director until the second film, but she did help direct a part of the first film—sort of. During the scene in the frat house where the boys are in a hot tub, a fake porno can be seen playing on the TV in the background, which happened to be directed by Banks.
1. April Fools!
While filming Pitch Perfect 3, panicked crew members had to scramble to help a bloodied Rebel Wilson when she fell down her trailer steps, but soon after she shouted “April Fools!” It had all been an elaborate prank, with fake blood and everything!