While talking about And Just Like That… on Tuesday’s Today show, Davis — who plays Charlotte on the HBO Max reboot and is an executive producer — was asked if Samantha’s departure is explained on the show in light of Cattrall’s messy split from the franchise.
“Yes,” Davis replied. “Uh… I mean… Uh… Yes!”
She continued, “We love Samantha,” not mentioning Cattrall by name. “Samantha is never not going to be a part in some way.”
Davis went on to say “respect for Samantha” will be “part of the story,” adding, “We would never disrespect Samantha.”
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Michael Patrick King, the showrunner, has said, “And Just Like That… was never four. It never was on the radar as four because Kim Cattrall, for whatever reason, didn’t want to play Samantha anymore while we were doing the [third] movie. I never thought, ‘Oh, there’s a hole I have to fill.’ Samantha doesn’t not exist in their lives. The show was born of these three characters… This isn’t what was; it’s what’s next.”
He also said Samantha wouldn’t be killed off.
The spinoff premieres Thursday — 17 years after the show ended. There have since been two movies — Sex and the City: The Movie in 2008 and Sex and the City 2 in 2010. While there was talk of a third, relations broke down between Cattrall and the show. At least in part it had to do with pay parity — star Sarah Jessica Parker earned more for her role and for producing — but it became clear it was a clash of personalities.
The feud within such a major franchise — one definitely amplified in the media with a catfight narrative — trickled down with the major players taking sides. Davis and Nixon have showed support for Parker, though haven’t badmouthed Cattrall, as they continue working together. Jason Lewis, Cattrall’s former love interest on the show also supported Parker.
Just this week, Chris Noth, Parker’s on-screen husband said he was disappointed in how Parker was treated.
“I just don’t like to see anyone talking down about SJ because she’s a target and people can be nasty,” Noth said. “I feel very protective of her and I was not happy about that. That’s all I’ll say about that.”
Cattrall — who has said she’d just “had enough” of SATC and didn’t want to be in a situation “where I’m not enjoying myself” — has moved on to other projects, including a role in another highly anticipated spinoff: How I Met Your Father.