news Reese Witherspoon Compares ‘Legally Blonde 3’ to ‘Top Gun: Maverick’: ‘That Gave Us a Lot of Inspiration’

Waiting decades to make a sequel to a beloved movie is often a recipe for disaster, but “Top Gun: Maverick” proved that it doesn’t have to be. The blockbuster earned rave reviews from critics and brought in the biggest box office haul of Tom Cruise’s career, proving there’s a real appetite for legacy sequels done well. Some of Hollywood’s biggest names have been studying the film’s success with the hope of finding a way to work the same magic into their own projects. Much easier said than done, but Reese Witherspoon is prepared to try.

In a new interview with USA Today, Witherspoon gave an update on “Legally Blonde 3” and expressed her hope that the long awaited sequel can find the same balance of nostalgia and fresh faces that made “Maverick” soar so high.

“I’m still hoping that ‘Legally Blonde 3’ is gonna come together in the right way,” she said. “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 added that, much like Cruise, she is extremely protective of Elle Woods and the franchise that helped make her a star. The long wait for the sequel to materialize stems from her extremely high standards for the series.

“I feel like these characters are my friends, so I safeguard them,” she said. “I would never make the subpar, mediocre version of their story.”

The script for “Legally Blonde 3” is being written by Mindy Kaling and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” co-creator Dan Goor. Kaling recently spoke about her approach to crafting the story and her desire to stay true to the original character while still allowing her to grow.

“What is Elle Woods like at 42?” Kaling said. “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?”