Legally Blonde 3 Is Taking Inspiration From Top Gun: Maverick

What exactly does a film series like "Legally Blonde" have in common with a film series like "Top Gun"? On paper, it wouldn't seem like much. One is a Dad Film chock full of dangerous stunts and enough machismo to power a small CrossFit gym. The other is a chick flick — a darn good one, mind you — swathed in pink costumes, memorable one-liners, and a satisfying Girl Power message. But "Top Gun," like "Legally Blonde," has the power of an eternally-enthusiastic fan base on its side, one that merited a sequel almost decades after the original came out. And given the mind-boggling success of said sequel, it's clear that everybody's got a little need for speed — not to mention a healthy appetite for nostalgia. 

"Top Gun" isn't the only franchise looking to build out its legacy decades later — and certainly not the last to face its fair share of delays. The third installment in the "Legally Blonde" story was first announced in 2018, then slated for a 2020 release. In 2020, the film was pushed back to 2022. And now, after series star Reese Witherspoon's comments about the threequel, it seems like "Legally Blonde 3" could be delayed even further.

Of course, not all hope is lost. "I'm still hoping that 'Legally Blonde 3' is gonna come together in the right way," Witherspoon told USA Today. "The right way" is a pretty telling piece of info, especially as Witherspoon went on to discuss her desire to "safeguard" the "Legally Blonde" legacy characters. "I feel like these characters are my friends," she continued. "I would never make the subpar, mediocre version of their story."

What, like it's hard?

It's natural to feel protective over such a beloved piece of pop culture. The last "Legally Blonde" film, "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde" came out in 2003, and it wasn't everyone's cup of tea, to put it mildly. With so much time between the sequel and its successor, it's clear that Elle Woods has to come back for a good reason. And that's where "Top Gun" enters the equation: 

"It's just like 'Top Gun.' They waited a long time to make another version of that movie, and I loved the nostalgia piece they incorporated in it. So definitely that gave us a lot of inspiration about what we would want to do with Elle Woods and make sure that we had all those same touchstones that mattered to people back then."

Witherspoon's reservations about "Legally Blonde 3" feel especially appropriate now. With Hollywood churning out one legacy sequel after the other — and with so few of them leaving lasting, positive impressions — they can't all be winners. But "Top Gun: Maverick" is one of the major examples of this trend done right. The film flipped the concept of the legasequel on its head in a major way, and managed to avoid all the trappings that other films have fallen into. If "Legally Blonde 3" wants to do the same, a few more delays are more than worth the wait.