The star thinks Barbie will probably impact how the movie is made and promoted.
More than 20 years after the first Legally Blonde hit theaters, franchise star Luke Wilson says he has no update on the current state of the planned third installment in Elle Woods’s adventures. The 2001 hit spawned a sequel — Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde — in 2003, but Witherspoon and her castmates have not returned to the world since then. In 2020, Witherspoon announced that rightsholder MGM was working on a new installment that would bring Elle into adulthood, but updates have been few and far between since then. According to Wilson, he thinks they are probably just taking their time, so that the sequel is a worthy successor to the beloved originals.
The first Legally Blonde hit right around the same time as Josie and the Pussycats, and both of those movies provided something of a template for this year’s biggest box office smash, Barbie. Speaking to ComicBook.com in support of Prime Video’s upcoming movie Merry Little Batman, Wilson says it’s hard to imagine the Barbie phenomenon won’t have some impact on the way a new Legally Blonde would be made and marketed.
“There hasn’t been [an update] since right around when Reese was talking about that,” Wilson told ComicBook.com. “We had a Zoom meeting of everyone, all the characters, and it was just kind of fun to see everybody. But I don’t know. I was kidding around when Barbie was such a big hit, saying that Legally Blonde was the OG. But I really haven’t heard anything since then. I’d heard pretty much what everybody else had heard, that Mindy Kaling, I think, back then was working on trying to write a version of it….Reese is a very sharp person, so I think she really wants to get the perfect script, and I would bet they do get affected by Barbie being such a zeitgeist movie across not just the country but the world, so hopefully in a good way that’ll inspire them to get the best script that they can.”
The last time Kaling updated fans on the project, she was definitely still working on it — but, as Wilson suggested, cracking the best possible story was proving to be a bit of a challenge.
“We don’t want to be responsible for ruining what’s basically Reese’s Avengers franchise,” Kaling said last year, adding that some of the questions are “What is Elle Woods like at 42? Does she end up becoming all the things she wanted? 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?”
Based on the novel of the same name by Amanda Brown, Legally Blonde opened in theaters in 2001 and quickly became a hit, grossing $141 million at the global box office. The film spawned a franchise of sorts with a 2003 sequel, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, a 2009 direct-to-DVD spinoff Legally Blondes, a Broadway musical Legally Blonde: The Musical.