Pretty in pink! Legally Blonde’s box office success, cult following and fans’ undying love of Elle Woods led to a hit sequel — and now, Legally Blonde 3 is in the works.
The 2001 original film made Reese Witherspoon a household name as she took on the role of Elle, everyone’s favorite Gemini vegetarian law school student who didn’t let her ex-boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis) — or unfair stereotypes — stop her from becoming a lawyer.
The comedy also gave life to many iconic quotes that fans of the franchise still use today, including, “What, like it’s hard?” and it originated the “Bend and Snap” move.
After years of speculation and teasing, Deadline reported in May 2020 that Legally Blonde 3 was given the green light. The outlet confirmed that Witherspoon would be returning as the blonde attorney who objects to catcalls and won’t stand for a fellow sorority sister being wrongfully accused of murdering her husband — after all, “Happy people don’t kill their husbands!”
The Sweet Home Alabama star’s production company, Hello Sunshine, signed off to produce the project, according to Deadline. The franchise’s original producer Marc Platt will be working alongside the L.A.-based company, and Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor were announced as the writers for the new script.
“Elle Woods is so iconic, proving you can be girly and smart at the same time. Bend and snap people!” Kaling wrote via Instagram at the time, confirming her role on the film.
Five months later, Witherspoon had a virtual reunion with the original Legally Blonde cast to reminisce about its massive success. The first film earned $141 million at the box office, according to Variety, while the 2003 sequel, which followed Elle to Washington, D.C. as she fights to pass Bruiser’s Bill (named for her beloved Chihuahua), grossed nearly $125 million globally.
“I think [Elle] just inspired people to believe in themselves. She’s inspired me to really keep an open mind,” Witherspoon said during the October 2020 event. “I think her spirit is something we could all use a little bit more of right now.”
The Whiskey in a Teacup author noted that the original movie’s fandom is something she didn’t expect, nor did she think it would inspire so many women to become lawyers.
“Oh, my gosh. No. Not at all. I don’t think any of us knew what this film was going to turn out to be,” she explained at the time. “More people stop me and say, ‘I went to law school because of Elle Woods.’”
On the film’s 20th anniversary, Witherspoon again paid tribute to her beloved alter ego, making fans even more excited for the upcoming third movie.
“Time flies when you’re busy using legal jargon in your every day life,” she joked via Instagram in July 2021. “But truly … playing Elle Woods was the role of a lifetime and I’m so honored to have been a part of sharing her story with you all. I wonder … what will Elle do next?”
Scroll down to see what we know so far about Legally Blonde 3: