Reese Witherspoon is finding unexpected inspiration for Elle Woods’ next big moment.
Witherspoon spoke with USA Today for an interview published Friday, during which she teased the status of development for the long-discussed third movie in the Legally Blonde franchise. The star said she remains hopeful that the sequel will still happen and that the recent success of Top Gun: Maverick has helped spur ideas for her own film’s team.
“I’m still hoping that Legally Blonde 3 is gonna come together in the right way,” she said. “It’s just like Top Gun: They waited a long time to make another version of that movie, and I loved the nostalgia piece they incorporated in it. So definitely that gave us a lot of inspiration about what we would want to do with Elle Woods and make sure that we had all those same touchstones that mattered to people [back] then.”
Witherspoon continued, “I feel like these characters are my friends, so I safeguard them. I would never make the subpar, mediocre version of their story.”
Top Gun: Maverick finally made it to theaters in May, 36 years after Tom Cruise first starred as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the original 1986 blockbuster. Maverick, directed by Joseph Kosinski, has crossed the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office, becoming Cruise’s first film to do so, and earlier this month hit $600 million domestically.
Director Robert Luketic’s Legally Blonde introduced audiences to Witherspoon’s unlikely Harvard Law student, Elle Woods, when it debuted in theaters in July 2001. A sequel followed two years later.
Witherspoon confirmed in 2018 that she was in talks to reprise her role as Elle for Legally Blonde 3, and two years later, Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor signed on to write the screenplay. Later in 2020, MGM posted a message to its official Twitter account announcing a May 2022 release date for the film; the project does not currently have a scheduled release.