Then it was originally reported that Chris Noth wouldn’t be appearing as Mr. Big. However, he ended up changing his mind and agreed to come back for the first episode, where his character was promptly (spoiler alert) killed off.
Amid the constant stream of last-minute changes, there was one iconic character that fans thought they could bank on making a cameo after the actor actively confirmed his involvement in the series.
John Corbett, who played Big’s romantic rival Aidan Shaw in the franchise, left many fans hoping for a long-awaited reunion when he said that Aidan would appear on the show.
First introduced in Season 3, Aidan was last seen in 2010’s second Sex and the City movie, where now-married Carrie ran into her former lover in an Abu Dhabi market and accepted his offer to go out for dinner.
In a controversial move that divided fans at the time, the two characters then shared a kiss. Carrie confessed all to Big in a phone call, and it ended up being the catalyst that forced Big to prioritize their marriage, and he and Carrie were able to move past the indiscretion and stay together.
Last April, John sparked excitement when he told Page Six that he would be “doing the show,” adding that Aidan would appear in “quite a few episodes,” prompting speculation that Carrie could find herself in a love triangle once again.
But when And Just Like That’s season finale premiered on Thursday with no sight, or even a mention, of Carrie’s one that got away, confused viewers were left with no doubt that they’d been hoodwinked.
The show’s writers have now dragged John for lying to the show’s devoted fans, admitting that they “never intended” for Aidan to appear and that the actor should be apologizing for the letdown.
Writer Julie Rottenberg and executive producer Michael Patrick King both addressed the confusion in an interview with Deadline.
“John Corbett should be writing personal apology notes,” Rottenberg said. “We didn’t say anything.”
When asked if Carrie and Aidan were considered “old news,” Michael appeared to leave the door open for Aidan to feature in future seasons as he explained that Carrie already had “a lot” going on in these 10 episodes.
“There’s nothing old news about Sarah Jessica Parker and John Corbett as actors and beings and interests,” Michael said. “The fact of the matter is, we never said anything about Aidan, just like we never said, Steve and Carrie are getting together.”
“We always try to be very restrained and look at the reality of what people are experiencing and it has nothing to do with Aidan coming or not coming. It really just felt like this was a lot for Carrie,” he added. “This season was a lot. We wanted to get her through this and into the light — the last episode is called ‘Seeing the Light.’ We wanted to get her out.”
“[Aidan’s return] is a big storyline that everybody at home wrote that we had never intended,” Michael concluded, without ruling out the storyline for future episodes.
HBO Max has yet to announce if And Just Like That will be renewed for a second season, but there have been plenty of hints that this will happen.
Sarah Jessica was one person to share her hope that the revival will keep going, telling Variety: “Michael and I spoke two weeks ago, and said: ‘OK, when are we going to talk about this?’ Because there’s a calendar and you don’t want to let too much time pass. There feels like there’s momentum.”
And HBO content chief Casey Bloys previously hinted that this is a possibility, saying: “In terms of viewership, it’s been phenomenal. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s doing in terms of reception.”
While there is every chance that Aidan could finally make his much-anticipated return to our screens if the series is renewed, the same can’t be said for PR guru Samantha Jones.
Kim Cattrall, who played the fourth lead character in all six seasons of Sex and the City and both movies, has spoken at length about how she has put the character to bed for good – and also publicly criticized Sarah Jessica.
In a new interview, Sarah Jessica confessed that she wouldn’t be OK with welcoming Kim back to the show considering how much she has openly discussed their long-running feud.
“If some miracle were to happen" and Kim wanted to play Samantha again, Variety asked SJP, would she be OK with that?
“I don’t think I would, because I think there’s just too much public history of feelings on her part that she’s shared,” Sarah Jessica said. “I haven’t participated in or read articles, although people are inclined to let me know.”
Although Samantha has not appeared onscreen, she has remained a prominent part of the And Just Like That storyline and been referenced several times, unlike Aidan.
Sarah Jessica praised the way that Samantha’s absence was handled by the writing team, which included text messages, her sending flowers, and even an off-camera meetup.
“There’s a very distinct line between Samantha and Kim,” Sarah Jessica said. “Samantha’s not gone. Samantha’s present, and I think was handled with such respect and elegance. She wasn’t villainized. She was a human being who had feelings about a relationship, so I think we found a way to address it which was necessary and important for people that loved her.”
The actor’s comments came after Michael Patrick King said that the door isn’t open for Kim to join the revival in the future.
He suggested that Kim’s comments about the show and Sarah Jessica are what sealed Samantha’s fate, adding: “There was no thought that Kim would ever participate in And Just Like That, because she’s said what she had said.”
“The only place I participate in magical thinking is in fiction. You take people at their word, and you’re a smart producer — you don’t back yourself into a corner,” Michael said. “Magically thinking, it’s great to have Samantha. I have no realistic expectation of Kim Cattrall ever appearing again.”
Stanford appeared in the first three episodes of the revival, but in the fourth, it was revealed that he’d suddenly filed for divorce from his husband Anthony and jetted to Japan.
Discussing the original plan for Stanford, Michael explained: “He was in all 10 episodes. Before I knew that Willie was sick and couldn’t complete it, Stanford was going to have a midlife crisis.”
The showrunner added that Stanford and Anthony would have “probably” ended their marriage either way, but both characters would have remained on the show.
Acknowledging the fleeting way that Stanford’s departure was addressed, Michael confessed: “It’s the most threadbare writing I’ve ever done just to move him along without much maneuvering, because it was just so sad. There was no way I could write myself out of that in any charming, cute way.”
With Stanford, Samantha, and Big gone, Aidan appearing in the next season of And Just Like That could well be exactly what the show needs.