Almost 20 years after Legally Blonde first bent and snapped into theaters, hope for a third movie in the Reese Witherspoon-starring franchise lives on. In 2018, MGM confirmed that another installment, following 2003's Legally Blonde 2, is in the works with some of its original stars. However, the wait has taken longer than usual, even surpassing the originally slated release date. Here's what we know of Elle Woods's long-awaited new chapter so far.
It will arrive May 20, 2022.
Legally Blonde 3 was originally supposed to arrive on February 14, 2020, but production was "quietly derailed" before coronavirus delays, Variety reports.
Reese Witherspoon is returning.
She even confirmed the news with an Elle Woods–inspired bikini Instagram shortly after reports of the revival. "It's true... #LegallyBlonde3," she captioned a clip of herself floating in a pool, sporting a hot-pink two-piece.
This time around, Witherspoon has also signed on as a producer through her Hello Sunshine production company. She joins Marc Platt, who produced the original Legally Blonde.
Mindy Kaling has signed on to co-write the script.
She and Dan Goor (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) will take on the endeavor, Deadline reported.
Original Legally Blonde writers Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Karen McCullah, who adapted Amanda Brown's book for the 2001 movie, were initially penning the new screenplay. Back in May 2019, Witherspoon told Entertainment Tonight that a script was already prepared but nothing had been filmed yet.
Kaling and Goor's version will have "an entirely new fresh spin," per Deadline.
"Finally some use for my Elle Woods fan fiction!" Kaling announced the news on Instagram. "So excited to be reunited with my friends @reesewitherspoon @laurenneu and Dan Goor to work on this movie. Elle Woods is so iconic, proving you can be girly and smart at the same time. Bend and snap people!"
Witherspoon also expressed her excitement to have her A Wrinkle in Time costar onboard, saying the role is "#ElleWoodsApproved."
Mindy Kaling is focusing on Elle Woods as a 40-something.
During an interview with Access, co-writer Kaling revealed that she's excited to explore what Elle Woods is like at 40-years-old. "I love the franchise so much," Kaling said. "I love Elle Woods as a character. And when Reese asked me if I wanted to write it, I was like, 'Absolutely!' I can’t wait to see what people think of the way we’ve written Elle Woods at 40. How Elle Woods is at 40 versus when she was 21 has been really fun to imagine."
While Legally Blonde 3 is currently scheduled for a 2022 release, Kaling noted that shooting has become much more difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "I don't know when we'll be able to shoot movies again," she explained, "but it would be great, if Reese likes the script, shooting it this year would be awesome. I'd love for you guys to see this movie."
And Kaling also revealed that fans of the original two movies can rest assured that all of the franchise's classic moments and catchphrases remain intact. "Bend and snap is forever," Kaling said. "We definitely have a lot of fan favorites from the original."
Other original cast members may return.
The actress and producer hasn't shared any specific details about plot points, but she did let a few hints slip. In a video with The Hollywood Reporter from December 2019, Witherspoon answered the prompt, "Legally Blonde 3 will be … "
She filled in the blank, saying, "So much fun. So full of fashion. So full of awesome feminist ideas. It will be global. It will have animals. It will have returning cast members. We just need to film it first. But that's my hope and dream for Legally Blonde 3. It will be the return of Jennifer Coolidge, which is the greatest."
Back in August 2018, Witherspoon also gushed over the movie after a production meeting. "Oh, it's gonna be so fun!" she told ET. "I got to go to a meeting the other day where we talked about all the new plot points and all the characters and some returning characters and some new characters. I mean, I got so excited just in the meeting. I was like, 'This is gonna be good.'"
Reese gave J.Lo a quick update.
During quarantine in April, Witherspoon briefly discussed LB3 while chatting with Jennifer Lopez on Instagram Live. J.Lo had just watched Legally Blonde with her kids. "My daughter's like, 'I want to know what happens to her,'" Lopez said, per People. "And I said, 'There's a 2 and a 3, I believe.'"
Witherspoon replied, "Well, no, there's a 2 but I'm thinking we might be working on a 3." The vague answer is not quite the news we were hoping for, but our eyes our peeled for new developments.
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