Reese Witherspoon reveals how 'Legally Blonde 3' was inspired by 'Top Gun: Maverick'

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Reese Witherspoon is one of the many fans of Top Gun: Maverick, the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun, which was released in May to rave reviews from critics and fans. It's still in theaters and has raked in more than a billion dollars at the box office.

She wants Legally Blonde 3, the in-the-works sequel to her 2001 hit Legally Blonde, which she'll star in and produce, to be just as much of a crowd pleaser.

Reese Witherspoon is working on a sequel to her beloved movie
Reese Witherspoon is working on a sequel to her beloved movie "Legally Blonde." (Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

"I'm still hoping that Legally Blonde 3 is gonna come together in the right way," the Oscar winner told USA Today in an interview published Friday. "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."

For her, it's very personal.

"I feel like these characters are my friends, so I safeguard them," said Witherspoon, who also played Elle in 2003's less successful Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde. "I would never make the subpar, mediocre version of their story."

Reese Witherspoon stars in
Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. (Photo: Everett Collection) (©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Actress and screenwriter Mindy Kaling told Yahoo Entertainment last month that she was being careful with the iconic character, as she and Dan Goor, who created TV comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, work on the script. It's rumored to be coming out in 2023.

"We are working on a draft of the movie, and hopefully it'll be done by like mid-summer," Kaling said. "Then we're gonna turn it in Reese, and it's always weird when you're working for your friend. 'Cause you're like, 'I hope you like it.' 'Cause obviously the role is so iconic for her, and I love the character so much, so I want her to be happy."

According to her new interview, Witherspoon has more than a dozen projects on the way. She's been producing for the past two decades, because of the lack of juicy roles for women.

"We're just making up for lost time," the executive producer of both Apple TV+'s new thriller Surface and the current movie mystery Where the Crawdads Sing said. "There were so many times in my career [when] I wasn't invited into the decision-making process; I was told where to be, how to be and what the end result would be."

Early box office receipts from the latter are higher than expected, at more than $48 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

Witherspoon said it "makes me feel like people are hungry for genuine, authentic storytelling with women at the center." She added, "I mean, we're 50 percent of the population, but not represented in as many films. And it's a good message to our industry, too, to make more films like this."