The showrunner promises Easter Eggs and reveals whether they had trouble getting any songs on their wish list cleared.
The “Pitch Perfect” universe is headed to TV with “Bumper In Berlin,” a spinoff series revolving around Adam Devine’s a cappella-loving villain from the first two films.
Joining him in the show is “Pitch Perfect 2” star Flula Borg — back as Pieter from Das Sound Machine — as well as series newcomers Sarah Hyland, Lera Abova and Jameela Jamil, who plays the antagonist this time around.
While the movies were filled with colorful — and vocally impressive — stars like Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson, don’t expect to see them in Season 1, as showrunner Megan Amram explains she didn’t want to distract from Bumper’s journey.
“You know, for this Season 1, I thought it was important to not rely on too many cameos. So we didn’t try to get more cameos because I thought it was very important to establish these characters as having their own lives, their own friends, and romantic lives outside of it,” she told News Brig. “But we did try to pepper in the show with little Easter eggs and just references to characters so it didn’t feel completely off on an island away from the movies.”
By focusing on Bumper and Pieter, the series is able to show a different side of the characters previously unseen in the films.
“The challenge and the exciting part of this spinoff show is not just were Bumper and Pieter supporting characters, they were villains in the first couple films,” she continued. “So it was a fun game, to see with almost the 10 years that have passed since we last saw them, how do you make it feel real and grounded that they have now become people you root for.”
“And for Bumper, he’s had some disappointments. He’s dropped back down to earth after he didn’t become a rockstar,” she added. “And for Pieter, he had some embarrassments, and they’re both trying to rebuild their lives.”
Amram was also thrilled to be working with Hyland, as the two bonded over their shared love of musical theater. By having the “Modern Family” star on the show, she was also excited to highlight Hyland’s singing voice, which some fans may be surprised to know is actually really good. FYI: Sarah actually got her start on Broadway!
“It makes me so excited because I think a lot of people know her from things like ‘Modern Family,’ where she’s super funny, but she’s a Broadway singer,” said Amram. “And every time I heard her sing, even if it was between shots on set, I felt as if I was getting a free concert from like the most beautiful singer I’ve ever heard. So I think this should be hugely exciting for people who don’t know that about her.”
As for the songs she and the rest of the cast will be performing on the show, Amram said she basically had her pick of anything she wanted … and faced zero pushback from artists they approached to have their songs cleared.
“I will say, not to brag, we got the rights to every single song that we wanted to get, which I have to attribute that to the power of the ‘Pitch Perfect’ franchise,” she said, adding that “it seems a lot of musicians are excited to be involved in this franchise they might be fans of already.”
Adam Devine & Sarah Hyland on Finding Their Voices In Pitch Perfect Spinoff ‘Bumper In Berlin’ (Exclusive)
“The song I’ve heard is apparently hard to get rights to is ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine,'” she said of the Guns N’ Roses classic, “but we did get it for Flula and Adam to sing in a dumpster together, and I was excited because I was like, ‘There’s no other song for that,’ feeling very confident that was the right song for the moment.”
Though Amram loved everything about filming on location in Berlin — especially getting “the Germans to laugh” and experiencing actual seasons — everyone on set also had warmer locales in mind should the show come back for a second season.
“A lot of jokes on set, in the dead of the winter, when we shot all this, is that it should be ‘Bumper in Bali’ next year for the cold people,” said Amram. “I think there’s still a lot for them to explore in Europe, but also something amazing about this spinoff is that his life is taking him in a lot of weird directions, so like it could be anywhere.”
“Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin” kicks off November 23 on Peacock.