'Sex and the City' Planned to Kill Off Mr. Big Early in Third Film
During an oral history with the cast and creators for the podcast 'Origins,' the major spoiler for the spinoff movie that was never made was revealed as a reason why Kim Cattrall didn't want to participate.
In a new chapter for his Origins podcast, host James Andrew Miller spoke in depth with the stars and creators of Sex and the City. For Miller's final installment in the three-episode series, titled "Sex and the City: 1, 2 & Out," he asked Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Noth and more notable names from the acclaimed HBO series about the canned third film in the franchise, Sex and the City 3.
While doing so, Miller hinted that he was privy to a portion of the SATC 3 script and revealed a major spoiler: Mr. Big (Noth), whose real name is John James Preston, dies "relatively early" in the screenplay. According to Miller, the narrative of Big's death and its focus on Carrie Bradshaw (Parker) made Kim Cattrall — who was responsible for the third film never getting off the ground — uninterested in reprising her role of Samantha Jones.
"People close to Kim believe that the script didn't have a lot to offer the character of Samantha," said Miller. "They point to the fact that it calls for Mr. Big to die of a heart attack in the shower, relatively early on in the film, making the remainder of the movie more about how Carrie recovers from Big's death than about the relationship between the four women."
Though Noth didn't get to read the script — and wasn't asked specifically about his character's passing — the actor told Miller that he had heard that it was "superior" to Michael Patrick King's previous screenplays for the first two films, which Noth admitted he "didn't really enjoy."
"I really hate corny stuff and it could be because I'm a little bit of a cynic. Like, the whole thing at the end of the movie in the shoe closet — hated it," he said, calling out the final scene from 2008's first Sex and the City film. "Hated the thing at the end of the movie after I felt she deceived me and then I say, 'Well, it's time I give you a bigger diamond ring.' Hated it. I just hate the cornball shit and I thought it was just really sentimental and overly romantic without any feet in realism."
Asked if he was then relieved when SATC 3 was a no-go, Noth clarified that he would have still liked to reunite with Parker and the rest of the gang, including Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, who play Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbes, respectively. "I'm a team player," he said.
Willie Garson, who plays Stanford Blatch, told Miller that the third film was set to start production in October 2017. "We were supposed to begin filming Oct. 20 last year, so it's been one year of just, 'Oh, that didn't happen.' And we all wish that this was coming out and it was a gift to be given," he said. "This is going to hurt us all, I assume, for years."
Garson elaborated: "I know that I'm not over it and, to be honest, it's a hard thing to be this close to doing something that will not only help yourself and your career and certainly your bank account — as cheesy as that sounds — but that a lot of people really care about. I still don’t know how to process it."
Parker first revealed that SATC 3 was not happening in a September 2017 interview with Extra. "It's over … we're not doing it," said the actress, who famously played Carrie on the Emmy-winning hit that ran from 1998 to 2004 before it was adapted for the big screen in 2008 and again in 2010.
"I'm disappointed," she added. "We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story. It's not just disappointing that we don’t get to tell the story and have that experience, but more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie."
Cattrall reportedly wanted Warner Bros. to produce other films for her, or she wouldn't participate in SATC 3. However, the actress later responded to the allegations in a tweet that read, "The only 'DEMAND' I ever made was that I didn't want to do a 3rd film," adding that she spelled that out in 2016.
During her interview on Origins, Parker recounted her attempts to get Cattrall on board. "I had many, many, many, many conversations with her manager where I was told, 'She would love to hear from you.' I emailed her, I tried to reach out to her and say, 'We want you part of this. You're an integral part. Of course, you are. I hope that when you read this script, you'll see the beauty, the joy, the heartbreak in it that I see, that we have seen,'" said Parker, who also served as an executive producer on SATC and its films.
She continued: "But I can't force her to see it. We did negotiate through the process and ultimately the studio said, 'We can't meet those asks of hers. We're not able to do it. The economics don't make sense for us.' So then it's over. But that's not a character assassination. That's just the way business works."
Miller opened the first episode of the podcast with a statement from Cattrall's publicist explaining why the star who plays Samantha declined to participate in the Origins oral history. "Kim said through a representative that she felt she had no more to say about Sex and the City. So, when appropriate in this episode, we will use comments of hers from past public interviews to make sure her perspective is covered," says Miller in episode three, where executive producer Michael Patrick King and the cast bring the host behind the public spats with Cattrall.
Although SATC 3 didn't materialize, Parker has thought about what Carrie might be up to in 2018. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the star said that she believes the fictional columnist would be "really energized" by the female empowerment in the #MeToo and Time's Up era. "It would be rich territory for her to explore," said Parker. "Carrie really talked mostly about sexual politics, and that is obviously a large part of #MeToo and Time's Up conversations. I'm sure she would have a lot to say, as would Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte."
Listen to the Origins podcast here.