Elle Woods still has some legal fight in her, and it's taking longer than expected to find the Reese Witherspoon character's next crusade. Legally Blonde 3 writer Mindy Kaling said the project is still in the works, even though it will not make the May 2022 release date as MGM hoped. Kaling and Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Dan Goor are writing the script together.
"I love this project. I am so excited about it. We are working on it," Kaling told Entertainment Tonight Monday. "It is going, you know, a little more slowly than we like, but [it's] just because we really want it to be good." The Mindy Project star noted Elle is "beloved," and they want to make a third movie that is worthy of Witherspoon's talents.
"I think of it like Reese's Avengers. Elle Woods is like her Captain America, and so you don't want to be the person that messes up that story," Kaling continued. "So for me, we are just taking our time because we want it to be really good."
Witherspoon and MGM have been developing Legally Blonde 3 since at least 2018. In May 2020, Deadline confirmed King and Goor were working on a completely new script, trashing the previous script by Kristen "Kiwi" Smith and Karen McCullah. In October 2020, MGM said the movie would hit theaters in May 2022. The film will not be ready in a month, unfortunately. No director has been announced.
Kaling did not spill any details about the upcoming Legally Blonde 3, but she is excited to work with Jennifer Coolidge, who is expected to return. Coolidge starred as beautician Paulette Bonafonté in the first two films.
"[She] is just someone who all writers would kill to write for," Kaling said of The White Lotus star. "She is so funny. She elevates any material, and she is just like... She can just do a glance; it is just hilarious. And so, as a writer, it's the jackpot." Kaling teased a "very juicy story" for Paulette and Elle. "The two of them, seeing what they look like now after 20 years, is really fun," she said.
The Legally Blonde franchise kicked off in 2001 and is inspired by Amanda Brown's novel of the same name. The first film was written by Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz, with Robert Luketic as director. It was a huge box office success and was quickly followed by the 2003 sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. Witherspoon also co-produced the direct-to-video spin-off Legally Blondes in 2009. The franchise also inspired a musical that ran on Broadway in 2007, with Laura Bell Bundy originating the role of Elle on stage.