Sex and the City: HBO Exec Hints at Reason for Samantha's Absence in Upcoming Revival
Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones in the original series, has publicly maintained that she would never return to the franchise
Speaking with TVLine in an interview published Wednesday, HBO Max CCO Casey Bloys said that the creative team behind the project — specifically, writer Michael Patrick King and Sarah Jessica Parker, who starred as Carrie Bradshaw in the original HBO series and subsequent films — is "not trying to re-do the original show."
"They're not trying to say that these characters are reliving their 30s. It is very much a story about women in their 50s, and they are dealing with things that people deal with in their 50s," Bloys said.
Not referring to Kim Cattrall's character Samantha directly, Bloys explained, "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."
"They're trying to tell an honest story about being a woman in her 50s in New York," Bloys added. "So it should all feel somewhat organic, and the friends that you have when you're 30, you may not have when you're 50."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Parker announced the news of the upcoming HBO Max Sex and the City revival, titled And Just Like That, on Instagram last month. Noticeably missing from the announcement was Cattrall.
"Happy to see you back but will miss Kim/Samantha," one commenter wrote, to which Parker replied, "We will too. We loved her so. X."
"She will always be there. And we are so excited. X," Parker responded to another fan's remark about missing Cattrall's character.
Parker also shot down speculation of a feud, saying she never "disliked" Cattrall. "No. I don't dislike her. I've never said that. Never would. Samantha isn't part of this story," she wrote at the time. "But she will always be part of us. No matter where we are or what we do. X."
In December, Cattrall, 64, opened up on the Women's Prize for Fiction podcast about her time on the show, saying it "was a lot of fun and I loved it." She also discussed the backlash she has received over the years for declining to do a third Sex and the City film.
"I remember getting a lot of grief on social media for not wanting to do a film. It was astonishing some of the things people wrote to me — 'I work in a bank and I don't like this person and I don't like the hours, and I don't like this and I do it so you just do it!' " she said. "'Give me what I want. I do it. I'm miserable, you be miserable too.' "
"I'm lucky enough to have choice, not that I haven't worked for it, but I have it," the actress continued. "It's something I feel very lucky to have and I'm very protective of it. I wouldn't be any good doing something that I really didn't want to do."