Why is Samantha not in the new Sex and the City reboot? Now we know

HBO Max just dropped some intel on the upcoming series

 actresses Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis pose for a portrait in an undated photo on the set of the HBO series "Sex and the City."
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For fans of Sex and the City, news that the HBO hit was coming back was both good and bad. For one, the new limited series entitled "And Just Like That..." would allow us to catch up with some of our favorite New York friends: Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes and Charlotte York. 

But, the final piece of the fabulous foursome would be missing. Kim Cattrall, who played the famously sex-positive Samantha Jones in the show's six seasons as well as its two follow-up films, declined to return to the role. 

How would—or could—the show runners continue the series without Samantha? Cattrall herself suggested that they recast the part, ideally with a woman of color. (Actress Vanessa Williams was a social-media dream casting and frankly, she'd be amazing.) Some fans surmised that the writers would kill off the character, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the show's final season.

Thankfully, there won't be a funeral for Samantha Jones in the upcoming reboot. Instead, the character's absence will be explained by a less tragic but still wistful reasoning: the four friends simply grew apart. 

In an interview with TV Line yesterday, HBO Max content chief Casey Bloys said: "Just as in real life, people come into your life, people leave. Friendships fade, and new friendships start. So I think it is all very indicative of the real stages, the actual stages of life." 

The new reboot, which will comprise 10 half-hour episodes, is "very much a story about women in their 50s, and they are dealing with things that people deal with in their 50s,“ Bloys continued. "The friends that you have when you're 30, you may not have when you're 50."

Cattrall’s refusal to join the revival isn’t shocking. Rumors of a supposed feud between Cattrall and series star Sarah Jessica Parker have milled around for years. When word hit that a third SATC film may be in the works, Cattrall shut that buzz down fast, telling Piers Morgan in 2017: "Me playing her, that I can assure you will never happen. For me it’s over, it’s over with no regrets." 

Parker and fellow costars Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis have all signed on to slip back into their Manolo's for the reboot. The three actresses teased the new series back in January, posting a cheeky promo video across their respective social media channels. When fans expressed disappointment on Instagram that Cattrall’s Samantha wouldn’t be returning, Parker responded: ”We will [miss her] too. We loved her so. X”

The “And Just Like That...” limited series is set to begin production in New York City this spring. The show will welcome a new, more diverse writers’ room, including author Samantha Irby (Wow, No Thank You). Of the new hires, Bloys told TV Line that Parker and SATC creator Michael Patrick King “didn’t want to tell a story with all-white writers or an all-white cast. 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.” 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.