Kim Cattrall's shock 'Sex and the City' return

What does this mean for 'And Just Like That…' and for the actress' feud with Sarah Jessica Parker?

Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker in 'Sex And The City'
Kim Cattrall is reportedly making a cameo in the new season of 'And Just Like That..."
(Image credit: James Devaney/WireImage)

And just like that, Samantha is back. Actress Kim Cattrall will make a shock return to the "Sex and the City" universe with a cameo as Samantha Jones in the sequel series "And Just Like That…" despite her absence from the reboot's first season. Cattrall's homecoming seemed unlikely due to some off-screen drama, specifically a rift between her and her former co-star Sarah Jessica Parker.

I couldn't help but wonder ...

When the original "Sex and the City" ended in 2004, Cattrall eventually revealed a pay dispute was partially to blame. "I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of 'Sex and the City,'" she said on "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross," adding, "When they didn't seem keen on that I thought it was time to move on." Parker, who also produced the show, was reportedly paid more than Cattrall and the other actors, and "Cattrall's attempts to negotiate her own raise" didn't "endear her to the other three," The Telegraph claimed. Initially, Cattrall also declined to return for a "Sex and the City" movie, and reports said she was seeking script approval and took issue with being paid less than Parker. But she later said she simply "felt it was time to be with my real family," as she was going through a divorce and her father was diagnosed with dementia.

Eventually, Cattrall was "won over with a sweetened offer that included a series deal with HBO," according to Reuters, and the movie went back into development. She also returned in the follow-up film, 2010's "Sex and The City 2." But by 2017, the Daily Mail claimed a third movie had been shelved due to "demands" from Cattrall, who allegedly insisted the studio "produce other movies she had in development or she wouldn't sign up for the project." Cattrall dismissed this claim, tweeting that the "only 'DEMAND' I ever made was that I didn't want to do a 3rd film....& that was back in 2016." Cattrall later explained that she was unhappy with the movie's script, which reportedly involved Samantha receiving unsolicited explicit photos from Miranda's teenage son. "I would have preferred for all of us to have some kind of event to warrant a third film," she told Variety. "That didn't happen." In 2017, Parker told Extra that she was "disappointed" the "beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script" wouldn't be made.

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Though rumors of a feud between Parker and Cattrall had been circulating since the show first aired, both initially denied this in interviews. "I adore her," Parker told Elle in 2009. In 2017, though, Cattrall told Piers Morgan she was never "friends" with her co-stars and that Parker "could have been nicer," comments that Parker said left her "heartbroken." Cattrall then unloaded on Parker in a 2018 Instagram post, writing that her "continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now." Cattrall, whose brother had recently died, demanded Parker "stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona." She also linked to a New York Post article that alleged there was a "mean-girls culture" on the show.

Just like that?

A third "Sex and the City" film never happened, but a revival series, "And Just Like That…," debuted in 2021 without Cattrall's involvement. She told Variety she was "never asked to be part of the reboot" and found out it was in the works "on social media." Parker explained to The Hollywood Reporter that Cattrall wasn't asked to return because "she made it clear that that wasn't something she wanted to pursue, and it no longer felt comfortable for us."

The first season of "And Just Like That…" explains that Samantha moved to London, and although Carrie texts with her, viewers never see Cattrall. It seemed likely this was all fans would get of Samantha, and Parker even told Variety she wouldn't be okay with Cattrall returning because "there's just too much public history of feelings on her part that she's shared."

Despite this, Variety has reported that Cattrall will return as Samantha in the season two finale of "And Just Like That…". Does this mean there's no more bad blood between Cattrall and Parker? Probably not. According to the report, it will just be a single scene, in which Samantha speaks on the phone with Carrie, rather than a permanent return to the show. HBO CEO Casey Bloys approached Cattrall about the cameo, and her scene was shot without her "seeing or speaking with the stars of the series," Variety said.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.