The Sam Smith and Sia-penned original song marked a departure for the Pitch Perfect
franchise. "Story-wise it was taking a chance, definitely, because the first one was all cover songs that everybody knew," co-music supervisor Julianne Jordan explained to Billboard
magazine. "But when we got 'Flashlight,' we just knew. [Director] Elizabeth [Banks] could see exactly how that song was going to work every time it was used."
Screenwriter Kay Cannon added that the Pitch Perfect
team are proud how the song works as an organic part of the storyline. "To be honest, I think we were all really trying to capture the new 'Cups
,' and we understood that is a really tall order and we won't do that per se, but this is something new to the audience; [an] original song sort of became the most organic way of giving the audience something new," she said. "It's like the song from the movie That Thing You Do
where you hear the song in different variations before you're hearing it at the finals, because I and the producers wanted the audience to catch on to what the song sounded like and hopefully connect to it by the time you hear it in the finals."