Reese Witherspoon Sees Top Gun: Maverick as Road Map for Legally Blonde 3

Looks like we’ll soon be seeing Elle Woods battling crippling g-forces as she drops pink handbags from on high onto an enemy bunker. Unless we’re interpreting this incorrectly.

Reese Witherspoon spoke with USA Today on Friday to discuss Surface, a new psychological drama that she produced for Apple TV + starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Hiddleston, Ari Graynor, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. (Check out V.F.’s interview with Mbatha-Raw here.)  

The A-lister and powerhouse producer (whose company adapted the bestseller Where The Crawdads Sing, currently in theaters and doing well at the box office despite middling reviews) gave some surprising answers to the ol’ “what’s next?” question.

She said she’s got something cooking, as both producer and actress, that she “can’t really talk about,” in which she is “reprising a character I played a long time ago.”

Was she talking about a third Legally Blonde movie? No, because that’s actually been announced (and in the works for nearly seven years.)

In 2020 it was announced that Mindy Kaling was working on the script, alongside Parks and Recreation alumni Dan Goor. Since then, development news has been a little quiet, but Witherspoon has found inspiration from an unusual source: the danger zone. 

“I’m still hoping that Legally Blonde 3 is gonna come together in the right way,” Witherspoon 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.” 

Whether this means scrapping whatever Kaling and Goor put together to follow Tom Cruise and Pete Maverick’s business model/tail is unclear. 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.”

Legally Blonde began life as a humorous novel written by Amanda Brown about her experiences at Stanford Law School. Its adaptation into a film in 2001 starring Witherspoon led to a successful sequel (Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde), and a Broadway musical in 2007. (Let’s not get into Legally Blondes, a direct-to-video off-shoot, even if it was directed by the great Savage Steve Holland.) 

As for the other project Witherspoon mentioned, a smart bet might be the return of Tracy Flick in Election? After all, the original author, Tom Perrotta, did just publish a sequel, Tracy Flick Can’t Win

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