During an appearance on Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi, an iHeartPodcast presented by iHeartPodcasts and Air Mail, Kaling explained that although they’ve written multiple iterations of the script for the anticipated follow-up in Reese Witherspoon‘s iconic movie franchise for a while now, the industry’s current standstill due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA/WGA strikes prevents them from moving forward.
“Obviously, now we sort of have pencils down because of the writers strike, but it’s had a couple of iterations over the past couple of years. And I think it’s a challenging project because of what makes it so great,” she explained. “Elle Woods is like Reese [Witherspoon’s] Avengers character, and people feel so passionately about this.”
She went on to say that part of the challenge of taking on the beloved franchise is recognizing how much culture has shifted since Witherspoon initially portrayed the Harvard graduate.
“I’m just someone who’s coming in to co-write the third movie, and even I see how excited people are. And what is Elle Woods doing in 2023 or 2024 when culture has changed so much since then? And so that’s tricky as a writer — writing something that is incredibly funny and is a great role for Reese but is saying something about feminism now,” she added.
Kaling reiterated a similar sentiment when she spoke with ET last April.
“I love this project. I am so excited about it. We are working on it,” Kaling said while promoting her ambassadorship with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network ahead of their national fundraising event, PanCAN PurpleStride. “It is going, you know, a little more slowly than we like but [it’s] just because we really want it to be good. 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. So for me, we are just taking our time because we want it to be really good.”
Speaking with Bozzi on the podcast, Kaling confessed that Witherspoon’s packed schedule, which includes season 3 of the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, allows for more time to fine-tune Legally Blonde 3 until they feel it’s ready.
“[Reese is] shooting shows and movies and everything else, so there isn’t this sense from her that she’s in any desperation or anxiety about getting back into the role. She loves the character and wants to do it if it’s exactly right…So it’s been taking some time,” Kaling said.
When Kaling and company have the script nailed down, they won’t be short of stars wanting to get in on production.
As fans remember, Coolidge played Paulette Bonafonté, a manicurist who befriends Elle in parts one and two. Earlier this year, The Morning Show actress told ET that although she can’t say much about the film, one thing she could assure, is that there will be no Legally Blonde 3 without Coolidge.
“I’m beyond myself about Jennifer Coolidge,” Witherspoon gushed. “She deserves every one of those flowers she is receiving right now. And she’s just one of those people who is so naturally gifted and funny and that you can just tell people love her, ’cause she gets up there and everybody’s like, ‘I love her,’ but she’s just done a lot of good work in our business for so long, that it’s really nice to see her getting this incredible moment.”
“There is no Legally Blonde 3 without Jennifer Coolidge,” Witherspoon maintained.
The White Lotus star previously told ET she hadn’t gotten a call about the third film, but would be more than happy to join the cast.
“I know nothing, I mean I don’t know if they wanted to surprise me or something, ’cause I hear about it a lot,” Coolidge said of the highly anticipated third installment. “I heard that Mindy has this amazing version of our next round, but I haven’t seen it. I don’t have the call yet.”
When asked if she was looking forward to it Coolidge said, “Of course. Of course.”
“Legally Blonde? Why Not? Reese and Mindy!” the Emmy winner excitedly added.
“[She] is just someone who all writers would kill to write for,” Kaling said. “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. Especially in that character, her character, [beautician] Paulette, is so funny and their dynamic is so funny. It’s been really great. She [has] a very juicy story in this one. That’s all I can say, and by the way, Elle has a very juicy story. The two of them, seeing what they look like now after 20 years, is really fun.”
“Legally Blonde is such a joy, such a technicolor classic now,” Blair said to ET. “Reese is really into it, you know, she loves her fans and she loves that movie and it’s so much fun. I know she said seeing [Top Gun:] Maverick and what nostalgia that was, and it’s like — we gotta bring Legally Blonde back.”
Blair admitted she had “no idea” whether her character is included in the script, but was “putting it out there” in the universe that she’d like to be involved.
The actress said she would be happy to work with her former co-star, telling ET that having Witherspoon’s support through her career and recent battle with multiple sclerosis means the world to her.
“I mean, Reese Witherspoon, before I met her I was such a fan … I just thought she was so incredible,” she said. “To still have her support even though she’s just a star on another galaxy, always, to me, is just so meaningful and makes me feel so supported.”