Why is Kim Cattrall not in the Sex and the City reboot?

A revival of the beloved comedy-drama has finally been confirmed, but without scene-stealer Samantha – how did we get here?

Adam White
Monday 11 January 2021 10:19 GMT
Kim Cattrall says it is time to move on from Sex and the City, in Piers Morgan interview

Sex and the City is back… to an extent. On Sunday night (10 January), stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis all confirmed that the beloved comedy-drama will be returning to television in a 10-part limited series. Noticeably absent, albeit to no one’s surprise, was Kim Cattrall.

Sex and the City: And Just Like That… will act as a follow-up to the original show and its two spin-off movies. In a statement, the series was described as “following Carrie (Parker), Miranda (Nixon) and Charlotte (Davis) as they navigate … the complicated reality of life and friendship in their fifties”.

Cattrall, who portrayed sexually adventurous PR flack Samantha Jones, has very publicly distanced herself from the show and specifically Parker in recent years. While the show’s original run was trailed by tabloid stories about the cast not getting along, it was only in 2017 and 2018 that any sense of public cordiality between Cattrall and Parker got tossed out of the window.

In 2017, Parker confirmed that a third Sex and the City movie was not going to happen, despite prior rumours to the contrary. “It’s over,” she said. “I’m disappointed. We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story.” Davis, on Instagram, added: “I wish that we could have made the final chapter, on our own terms, to complete the stories of our characters. It is deeply frustrating not to be able to share that chapter with all of you.”

Soon after, anonymous sources told The Daily Mail that Cattrall had held up production on the sequel as she had wanted her own solo projects financed by Warner Bros in exchange for her participation in the film. This, Cattrall wrote on Twitter, was not true. “Woke up to a MailOnline s***storm,” Cattrall tweeted. “The only ‘DEMAND’ I ever made was that I didn’t want to do a 3rd film....& that was back in 2016.”

During an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories soon after, Cattrall said that Parker “could have been nicer” about her refusal to appear in the sequel.

“It’s quite extraordinary to get any kind of negative press about something that I’ve been saying for almost a year of ‘no’ that I’m demanding or a diva,” she said. “The answer was always no and a respectful [and] firm ‘no’. I never asked for any money, I never asked for any projects. To be thought of as some kind of diva is ridiculous.” She also added that the show’s four stars were “never friends” during the original run of the show.

Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall in the first Sex and the City movie (Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Cinema/Kobal/REX)

Parker called the claims “upsetting” in an interview in February 2018, adding: “That’s not the way I recall our experience.” Days later, Cattrall put all ambiguity to bed. After Parker wrote a comment of condolence on Cattrall’s Instagram, in the wake of the death of Cattrall’s brother, the Samantha actor posted a photo of a message that read: “I don’t need your love or support at this tragic time @sarahjessicaparker.”

In the caption, Cattrall recalled a conversation with her mother, who allegedly asked: “When will [Parker], that hypocrite, leave you alone?” Cattrall then accused Parker of “exploiting our tragedy to restore [her] ‘nice girl’ persona”, adding: “Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now.” Parker has never publicly addressed Cattrall’s comments.

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Cattrall’s Instagram post also directed readers to a New York Post article titled “Inside the mean-girls culture that destroyed Sex and the City”. The article alleged, via anonymous sources, that Cattrall was left “out in the cold” by Parker, Nixon and Davis during the show’s original run, and that she was unhappy she never achieved pay parity with Parker.

In 2020, Cattrall said that she had “no regrets” about any of her comments about Parker or Sex and the City 3. “Everything is on Google, so I encourage you to Google it, about anything that I’ve said,” Cattrall told The Los Angeles Times. “I feel that that was then, and when I look at what’s going on around me, I just don’t have any regrets.”

Despite Cattrall’s steadfast lack of interest in returning as Samantha, rumours of a show revival persisted. Now, after weeks of rumours about a forthcoming deal with US streaming service HBO Max, the revival has been confirmed. But what of Samantha herself? It remains unclear how she’ll be written out of the series. While some fans have speculated Samantha may be killed off (one joke tweet theorised Carrie may murder her), Parker’s cheery recent interaction with author and journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner suggests it won’t be quite as bleak.

“Please respond below with your suggested plotline that explains Samantha's absence,” tweeted Brodesser-Akner shortly after the revival was confirmed. “Pen and paper at ready,” Parker replied. After presumably reading many of the (often comic) suggestions, Parker added: “Exceeding all expectations. I am summoning discipline though desperate to suggest ‘hot/cold’.” Cattrall has yet to comment on news of the revival.

Sex and the City: And Just Like That… will reportedly begin filming in the spring. The real drama, though? We’ll probably have to wait for the press tour.

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