Despite Willie Garson’s heartbreaking death while working on the revival, the series’ creators opted not to write his passing into the show.
After Willie Garson died from a battle with pancreatic cancer at 57-years-old in September 2021, showrunners decided not to write a death for his iconic character Stanford Blatch in the upcoming revival And Just Like That. Showrunner and executive producer Michael Patrick King explained that none of the major characters from Sex And The City die in the new series in a Friday December 3 interview with The New York Times.
During the interview, Michael spoke about fan theories surrounding the latest teaser for the upcoming show, including that the characters Samantha (played by Kim Cattrall) and Mr. Big (played by Chris Noth) were dead, because they didn’t appear in the clip. “Nobody’s dead,” Michael told The Times. Willie died while working on the show, and he’d already filmed a few scenes as Stanford. Michael said the actor’s death wasn’t included in the show “because it wasn’t charming,” and he knew that writing it in would affect fans’ perception. “And I knew that the audience would know,” he said.
Michael had previously spoken about Samantha’s absence in a December interview with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the show’s release. “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,” he said. “The show was born of these three characters: What’s their life, and who can I bring in to inform it? Listen, I wouldn’t do this again if I wasn’t excited about the idea. And even though people think this is a franchise that they’re familiar with, there’s something new in this version.”
After Willie’s death on September 21, tributes poured in from his co-stars, including Kim, Cynthia Nixon, and, of course, Sarah Jessica Parker. “Willie. I will miss everything about you. And replay our last moments together. I will re-read every text from your final days and put to pen our last calls,” Sarah wrote in an emotional Instagram post after his passing. Days after her friend and co-star’s death, Sarah was seen continuing to work on the SATC revival on September 27 in New York.