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It’s been nearly a decade since the last entry in the Sex and the City franchise, but the girls couldn't possibly stay away from the screen for long. In January, news broke that the popular early aughts HBO show would be continuing on HBO Max in a revival called And Just Like That…
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Sarah Jessica Parker, who famously walked the streets of Manhattan in her Manolo Blahniks for six seasons and two movies, said she’s thrilled to bring a new chapter from showrunner Michael Patrick King and the otherwise all-women writers’ room to life.
“I think that Cynthia [Nixon], Kristin [Davis], and I are all excited about the time that has passed,” she said. “You know, who are they in this world now? Have they adapted? What part have they played? Where have they fallen short as women, as friends, and how are they finding their way? Did they move with momentum? Are they like some people who are confused, threatened, nervous [by what’s happening in the world]? I'm so curious and excited to see how the writers imagine these women today.”
You’ll notice, of course, that Parker named herself, Nixon, and Davis as cast members, but omitted the name of the fourth star of Sex and the City, Kim Cattrall. When HBO Max announced the SATC revival, Parker confirmed on Instagram that Cattrall (Samantha Jones) would not be joining the cast for this project.
“No. I don’t dislike her. I’ve never said that. Never would,” Parker said, refuting a commenter’s claim that the two “dislike each other.” She went on: “Samantha isn’t part of this story. But she will always be part of us. No matter where we are or what we do.” The commenter was referring to the not-so-secret feud between Cattrall and Parker, one that seems to be ongoing.
That juicy nugget aside, let’s dig into the basics. Here’s what we know so far about And Just Like That...
Filming has officially begun.
On July 9, the first photos from set revealed the cast and crew hard at work filming in New York City.
Throughout the rest of mid-July, more paparazzi photos revealed small details from the new series. One particularly shocking development? Charlotte has a new pup. Her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Elizabeth Taylor, is nowhere to be seen, replaced instead with an as-yet-unnamed bulldog.
Photos from production show the nostalgia is real.
Before the reboot's first table read, Parker posted a photo of the exterior of Carrie Bradshaw’s home in the West Village. She called out the title of the series in her post.
“Pure coincidence AND JUST LIKE THAT, we find ourselves on this street called Perry the night before it all begins again. MPK, here we go. And I’m thrilled and terrified.
The next day, she posted a photo from the first table read with the caption:
“1st Table Read.
Got here to work way too early.
Nerves all a wonderful jumble.
And this reunion photo of Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte together again:
To celebrate the start of the reboot, Nixon posted this throwback:
“Friendship never goes out of style. #AndJustLikeThat,” she wrote on a post of the reunion photo identical to SJP’s.
SJP also posted a sweet photo of her and Chris Noth, who plays Mr. Big, to her grid on August 7.
She wrote: “These 2. I bet they stay out late tonight.
This certainly won’t be the last pre-series tease we see!
The wild fashion is coming back.
Sarah Jessica Parker has been showing off one of her character’s signature bird hats. She has also been seen strutting around in Carrie’s famous Manolo Blahnik pumps.
There will be 10 half-hour episodes.
Parker, Davis, and Nixon are signed on as executive producers of the new show, per The Hollywood Reporter. So far, this is slated as a limited series, but if we know anything about the seemingly endless stamina of Carrie Bradshaw and co., it could continue way past the one season HBO Max has currently green-lit.
Here’s how HBO is describing the series:
This new chapter of the groundbreaking HBO series Sex and the City follows “Carrie” (Sarah Jessica Parker), “Miranda” (Cynthia Nixon) and “Charlotte” (Kristin Davis) as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s. The ten-episode, half-hour series is scheduled to begin production in New York this summer.
The writers’ room is hard at work.
Us Weekly reported in late February that the writers’ room opened in January. As Vanity Fair also reported, the writers’ room is made up entirely of women, and Parker referred to the writing staff as “incredibly diverse in a really exciting way.” She added that the staff will add “life experience, political world views, and social world views” to the series.
In February, Deadline announced members of the writers’ room include Shrill and Tuca & Bertie writer and Wow, No Thank You author Samantha Irby, who will also serve as co-producer; Parks and Recreation alum Rachna Fruchbom, who will also co-executive-produce; Twenties, Black Lightning, and Being Mary Jane alum Keli Goff, who will serve a supervising producer; and Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky, who both worked on the original series and will serve as executive producers.
Diversity is a priority.
TVLine reported that the show’s original showrunner, Michael Patrick King, and his group will be focusing on diversifying Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda’s friend group—something they were called out for not doing in the past. The site reports that there will be at least six new characters who will be season regulars and women of color. This certainly doesn’t make up for the show’s past mistakes, but it will be interesting to watch the series try to reinvent itself.
HBO Max chief content Casey Bloys told TVLine that EPs Parker and King “didn’t want to tell a story with all-white writers or an all-white cast” because “it’s not reflective of New York. So they are being very, very conscious about understanding that New York has to reflect the way New York looks today.”
Sara Ramírez is joining the cast as the show’s first non-binary character.
Tony winner Sara Ramírez will join the original cast as Che Diaz, a stand-up comedian and podcast host who frequently invites Carrie onto the show. Che, like Ramírez, identifies as non-binary and queer, and per The Hollywood Reporter, “is a big presence with a big heart whose outrageous sense of humor and progressive, human overview of gender roles has made them and their podcast very popular.”
The original leading men are reprising their roles.
Another big casting question surrounded Carrie’s love interest, Mr. Big (Chris Noth), and the show’s other beloved boyfriends. On Feb. 18, Page Six published a report that Noth would not be joining the reboot—but Noth quickly batted that idea away by dropping a clue on social media.
“Everything changes—including announcements in the rags,” he wrote.
Now, it's official: The New York Post reported all three of the original leading men—Noth, John Corbett (Aidan), and David Eigenberg (Steve)—will return for the revival. A source from the senior production team said “viewers will definitely see Big, Aidan, and Steve.”
On Wednesday, May 26, HBO Max released a press release confirming Noth’s return. “I’m thrilled to be working with Chris again on And Just Like That…,” King said in a statement. “How could we ever do a new chapter of the Sex and the City story without our Mr. Big?”
On August 2, Noth was finally spotted on set with Parker for the first time:
Three new cast members have recently signed on.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Nicole Ari Parker, Sarita Choudhury, and Karen Pittman have all joined the SATC sequel. Parker (Empire, Rosewood) will play Lisa Todd Wexley, a documentarian, and Park Avenue mom, while Choudhury (Blindspot, Little Fires Everywhere) takes on a Manhattan real estate broker named Seema Patel. Finally, Pittman (The Morning Show, Yellowstone) will play a Columbia Law School professor, Dr. Nya Wallace.
The reboot will introduce a younger cast.
According to Entertainment Tonight, HBO Max announced that Life in Pieces actor Niall Cunningham would join that cast as Miranda Hobbes’ older son. Mr. Iglesias actress Cree Cicchino is set to play Miranda’s son’s girlfriend, Luisa Torres.
And Just Like That will also introduce Charlotte York and Harry Goldenblatt's daughters Lily (Cathy Ang) and Rose Goldenblatt (Alexa Swinton).
We don't know exactly when the series will drop.
And Just Like That… doesn’t have an official release date yet. COVID-19 has been an obvious roadblock for much of TV and film production over the past year, but with vaccines well underway and lots of tricks up the sleeves of talented showrunners, it's likely filming could wrap this summer, meaning a 2022 release date is not out of the question.
COVID-19 will be mentioned in the revival.
Speaking of COVID, it doesn’t seem as if the writers are just going to ignore the pandemic, which devastated New York City last spring. Parker told VF that COVID-19 will “obviously be part of the storyline because that’s the city [these characters] live in. And how has that changed relationships once friends disappear? I have great faith that the writers are going to examine it all.” The statement had some fans speculating that Samantha would die from the virus.
Or just generally afraid that Samantha will be killed off, somehow.
But all signs currently point to the writers not killing off Samantha.
Fans can take a sigh of relief that their worst fears are not coming to fruition in And Just Like That… In an interview with TVLine, HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys seemed to indicate that the character of Samantha just goes her own way—but doesn’t die. Bloys added that “just as in real life, people come into your life, people leave.”
He added: “Friendships fade, and new friendships start. So I think it is all very indicative of the real stages, the actual stages of life… They’re trying to tell an honest story about being a woman in her 50s in New York.”
So, maybe they just…ghosted each other? But no one is an actual ghost. Can you imagine a series of unexplained events that the women eventually blame on Samantha’s ghost?
The story will follow Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte in their 50s.
We last saw the friends in 2010, so more than a decade has passed in the friends’ lives. That goes back to what Bloys said about the women’s friendship with Samantha. It's been a long time, everyone is in their 50s, and friendships fall off. What else is going on with the group now that they're 50? Surely they've picked up some quarantine hobbies. The real question is whether we could ever see Carrie becoming a sourdough aficionado.
The door is reportedly 'open for Kim Cattrall to return as Samantha Jones' in a second season.
HBO is expected to announce season two of the reboot soon. A senior production source told the Daily Mail that “Michael Patrick King (executive producer, director, and writer) and Parker have plans for this to be more than a limited ten-episode run on HBO Max, so expect to see a second season announced soon.”
A source also said, “The door is open for Kim Cattrall to return as Samantha Jones.” The source added, “There was obviously a concern that people would miss Kim and not be engaged, but the response so far has been phenomenal, and for fans of Kim, the door is open for her to return. If she ever changes her mind, she can come back.”
The franchise is no stranger to spin-offs.
This is definitely not the first time the SATC creators have expanded the universe. If you'll recall, The CW had a series called The Carrie Diaries based on Candace Bushnell’s prequel to her 1997 Sex and the City book. The show, which starred Anna Sophia Robb, ran from 2013 to 2014.
Of course, there were also two feature films, Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010). Will we ever see the end of these friends, this show, and Carrie Bradshaw? Not if fan power has anything to say about it. That said, if you don’t have an HBO Max subscription, it’s time to get on it.
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