Elle Woods had one ambition: to become Mrs. Warner Huntington III. However, her perspective fiancé didn’t quite see any blonde ambition in his wife-to-be and they parted ways. But never underestimate the power of the determined – by studying the Law Admission Test, she became a student at Harvard Law, one determined to win her boyfriend back.
With that premise Legally Blonde, the 2001 comedy hit, made for a budget of $18 million, went on to gross more than $140 million at the box-office. It received Golden Globe nominations for both Best Film and Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon. Two years later there was an equally successful sequel.
In 2007, Legally Blonde became a musical and the entire story appeared to have come full circle. Then in 2018 it was announced that Witherspoon and MGM had reached an agreement to reprise the character of Elle Woods and they brought in the original writers Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullagh. Witherspoon said at the time, “She needs to go on a hero’s journey as she did in the first film.” Now, it seems as though a whole new generation is about to learn how to “bend and snap”: the Legally Blonde franchise seems set to become a trilogy and Witherspoon invited Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor on board to write the final installment.
Kaling, who created the Netflix comedy Never Have I Ever, and who was 19 when Legally Blonde first showed in theaters, was drawn to the strong feminist message of the movies. “I am excited to revisit this character who was 22 when we first met her. Now she is 42. How does Elle Woods age? What are the frustrations in her life?” she wondered.
Kaling, a Boston native, began her career as an intern for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, before segueing to stand-up comedy. She would later rely on both experiences when writing her 2019 movie, Late Night, which earned her co-star, Emma Thompson, a Golden Globe nomination.
Her comedy writing chops were and are her greatest strength, one which she first honed during eight seasons on The Office, followed by six seasons of her original comedy, The Mindy Project, which cemented her standing in the industry.
Legally Blonde 3 will reunite Kaling and Witherspoon, who appeared together in Ava DuVernay’s adaption of the childhood classic A Wrinkle in Time. Both women are excited about the project. “Reese is obviously amazing at drama, she won an Oscar for Walk the Line, but she is one of those rare people, like Steve Carell, who can just do everything. So, for me, I am excited to write a really funny comedy for her,” Kaling told the HFPA.
So far, there’s no word as to whether Jennifer Coolidge and Luke Wilson will return, although Wilson, who played Elle Woods’ love interest Emmett Richards, has reportedly expressed interest.