Mindy Kaling, who’s co-writing the long-gestating Legally Blonde 3 with Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Dan Goor, has explained why the comedy movie is taking so long to get made. Basically, Kaling’s aware of how beloved Reese Witherspoon’s brilliant blonde lawyer Elle Woods is, and she doesn’t want to mess things up by rushing the film’s writing process.
“We don’t want to be responsible for ruining what’s basically Reese’s Avengers franchise,” Kaling told Time magazine, which seems fair enough. During the same interview, Kaling admitted that she’s started writing the script but added that it isn’t finished just yet. That said, she did tease a few reflective questions about Elle that the film may get around to answering.
“What is Elle Woods like at 42?” “Does she end up becoming all the things she wanted?” Kaling mused. “How does that personality manifest in a grown woman? Has she become more cynical? Her brightness and her cheerfulness really worked when she was 22, but how has life changed her perspective on things?”
Kaling pointed out there are often difficulties in updating classic characters from the Aughts for a more contemporary audience. Using the Sex and the City revival And Just Like That as an example, Kaling said she struggled with the TV series, calling out that it felt the need to apologize for itself.
“The hardest thing about this project is trying to figure that out in an authentic way,” she explained. “Honestly, watching And Just Like That, and how they took a character from 18 years ago, and how the character was now—we want to make sure that Elle Woods is not paying penance for existing in the year 2022.”
She finished by saying Legally Blonde 3 will acknowledge how the world has changed, it won’t apologize for the past and will be a love letter to the fabulous Elle Woods.
“We’re not afraid of the character in this world, and we don’t feel we have to apologize for her,” Kaling said. “As a fan, I didn’t want to watch her be cancelled or become a Karen. So the character is just fun. That’s what’s been interesting and challenging—and why it’s taking us such a long time to write.”
If you love Legally Blonde, check out our list of the best rom-coms.