Everything We Know About Why Sex and the City 3 Was Cancelled - From Cast Tensions to Major Demands
Sarah Jessica Parker has confirmed it won't be happening, but there were seven years of rumors before then
It’s the dearest hope of every Manolo-wearing, Cosmopolitan-guzzling, serial-dating Sex and the City lover out there that one day, their four favorite ladies will reunite on-screen just one more time.
But now, it seems that all hopes truly are dashed: Sarah Jessica Parker confirmed to Extra that the third movie isn’t happening.
“It’s over,” she said. “We’re not doing it.”
In the years between Sex and the City 2‘s premiere and Parker’s official shutdown, the rumors ran wild. In fact, they had stoked by the cast members themselves – many times. They’d bring our hopes up, and then they’ll come crashing down again. Sarah Jessica Parker would say there’s a chance, and then Chris Noth will say he’s done. (Really, it was like the Big-Carrie saga all over again.)
Even though now we know how the story ends, here’s a refresher: Presenting … PEOPLE’s comprehensive guide to everything the SATC cast, crew and creators have said about a potential return since Sex and the City 2‘s release in 2010.
In an interview to promote Sex and the City 2, Parker said that while she didn’t know when the end of the franchise was coming, she’d be “okay” if it did end.
“If we left them today and this is where they were, I’d be okay,” she told Tribute Movies. “I’d miss the people and the camaraderie and the sorority, and I’d miss the experience on the streets of New York. But I have such a vivid memory of all of it, it’s enough to get me to my grave.”
However, after SATC 2 was met with lackluster reviews, Mr. Big himself said that the lukewarm reception was the final nail in the coffin.
“It’s over,” Chris Noth told New York Magazine. “The franchise is dead. The press killed it. Your magazine f—ing killed it. New York Magazine. It’s like all the critics got together and said, ‘This franchise must die.’ Because they all had the exact same review. It’s like they didn’t see the movie. Got any more gum?”
Sarah Jessica Parker said to Vulture, “I don’t know the future. I would say that you never know what will happen with that particular franchise. It’s less about the reviewers than it is about the audience, and they’ve been pretty true, so we tend to listen to them more than anybody else.”
Just a few months later, however, Kristin Davis gave us renewed hope when she admitted that there was “another story to tell.”
“I’m always hopeful, and I always believe there’s another story to tell because these are these women’s lives, so why wouldn’t there be another chapter?” she told E!. “[But] I don’t know if it will happen. I’m not the person who has to decide that, thank goodness. I leave the pressure up to Sarah Jessica and Michael Patrick King.”
That same month, Parker put it all on the table – and gave us a timeline.
“I would go back,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I think there’s one more story to tell. I know there is. I’d definitely tell that story, and I know Michael [Patrick King] would do it right. But maybe not now. Maybe in five years, you know?”
Though Davis and Parker were ready to go, Mr. Big clearly wasn’t.
“I don’t see Sex and the City 3 happening,” Noth told Parade. “I’m not disappointed if they don’t. I miss the early days before it became sort of a circus of attention, when it hadn’t become this iconic thing.”
Classic Big. And he wasn’t alone: Kim Cattrall told MovieWeb.com that she was at peace with the fact that SATC 2 may have been the end.
“I feel like I’ve let go,” Cattrall said. “Whatever happens with those characters … I would love to revisit them. It’s like a reunion. It’s like going home. Thirteen years of your life? That is a long time to be associated with one show and one character. One family. If it happens, that would be great. But if not? It was an amazing experience.”
Parker continued the plunge into darkness by confirming that there was “no discussion” of a third movie.
“I don’t know of a movie in the imminent, or near, or even distant future,” she said. “Honestly, I’m not being cagey. There is no discussion currently of a Sex and the City 3. Do I hold it out in my future in some way as a possibility? Of course.”
RELATED VIDEO: Sarah Jessica Parker Admits She Begged to Get out of ‘Sex and the City’ – Before Falling for Carrie
Nearly a year later, finally, we get a bit of measurement from none other than Stanford Blatch. Actor Willie Garson told The Huffington Post:
“I’m still him if they decide to make another movie.”
But it wasn’t just his willingness to participate that got fans excited. He also said, “Every time I think it is over, the phone rings again. I think it is great that people want more of these characters since we are basically in wheelchairs at this point.”
Did that mean that the phone had recently rung again?! As we now know, probably not. But at the time, it was pretty exciting.
All hopes came to a screeching halt when Cynthia Nixon dropped this bomb after the Hollywood Reporter asked her about the possibility of a third installment.
“No, no,” she said, each word a dagger in our heart. “I think we had a wonderful ride. I think it’s fine to let it go.” Oh, come on, Miranda!
Further disappointment came when the real-life Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, said she thought another film would be a mistake – and that even the second one wasn’t the best idea.
“Look, Sarah Jessica Parker is 47. I think with the second movie, Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t be an ingénue anymore,” she told The Daily Beast. “But I think they were stuck doing what the audience wanted. Realistically, a middle-aged woman who was married without children would be much more focused on her career and less focused on this Mr. Big: ‘Does he love me?’ … ‘Does he still not love me?’ I mean, I think it was coming to the end of what they could do with the character.”
Bushnell said she’d instead like to watch Bradshaw run for mayor of New York City with Samantha acting as her campaign manager, which, hey, we would totally watch.
Davis wasn’t having any of Nixon’s pessimism, however.
“I’m going to have a little talk with Cynthia the next time I see her!” she told Haute Living magazine. “I don’t think [a third film] is a pipe dream, there is discussion. People talk about it amongst the people who are the players, but I don’t know if it will come together. It would be very exciting if it did.”
Parker continued to add fuel to the fire in a cover interview with InStyle. “A part of me thinks there is one last chapter to tell,” she said. “But timing is a peculiar thing. It isn’t a decision that can wait forever. I don’t want to have to wear muumuus!”
But she really set tongues wagging the next year, with this Instagram.
Captioned “Well. I guess the cat’s out of the (little brown) bag. As usual, we will keep you posted on every detail as we are able. I’m under a strict gag order until then.” SATC fans were sure this was the announcement they had been waiting for.
But it wasn’t: Instead, the secret was just that Parker’s eponymous shoe line would be landing at Bloomingdale’s. Which, hey, congrats, and everything, but it’s just not as exciting.
She later apologized for getting the world’s collective hopes up.
“The fact that people read into it definitely took us by complete surprise,” she later said. “There is just nothing to say on the topic [of Sex and the City 3], and if there were something to say, we would share, but right now, there is nothing to say at all.”
It felt like how you’d imagine being broken up with by Post-it would feel.
A year after her InStyle interview, the answer from Parker hadn’t changed much.
“There is no decision,” she said during a stop by the Today show. “It remains a not-often-had conversation. I know – and Michael Patrick [King] knows well – the story we might tell, if we ever tell it. But the real truth, and I’m not being cagey, is we’ve never discussed a when.”
Nixon’s feelings on the matter, however, did change. Absence does make the heart grow fonder!
“Of course, I would love to do it if Michael Patrick King thought there was a story there that he wanted to write and tell,” she said.
But Parker continued to insist that really, really, nothing was in the works.
“A really close friend of Michael Patrick [King] just texted my very best friend yesterday and said, ‘Do you know when they might make Sex and the City 3?’ because he wants to go have fun. There are currently no plans,” Parker said on the Sirius XM radio show Just Jenny Wednesday. “I am not being cagey or withholding. You would see through that.”
Cattrall called it like it is earlier this year, saying that it’s probably not going to happen – but that she’d be down to do it if it did.
“Everyone is doing their own thing, and if it was going to happen, it would have happened by now,” she told the U.K.’s Daily Record. “It would be a challenge to do a third installment. It could be fun though. To say goodbye completely to Samantha would be pretty hard.”
Most recently, Carrie’s two biggest loves are split on whether there should be another SATC film.
“I do think they should make another Sex and the City movie,” John Corbett, who played Aidan, said. “Not that I would be in it. I think that Aidan’s also moved on. These girls still look great, there’s still stories to tell. What’s the hurdle, what’s the challenge? Just make another one.”
Noth, however, continues to be discouraging.
“If it was going to happen, it would have happened five years ago,” Noth told AMNY.
In the latest instance of spreading SATC rumors, Carrie Bradshaw herself renewed hope once more, telling the Press Association that it’s still an “open question.”
“I don’t think any of us have said no,” she said. “I don’t know whether it’s a series or the movie. I think that remains an open question and discussion that will continue until it’s been resolved.”
Well, someone better answer that question soon. There’s only so long we can wait!
Parker spent early October doing press for her new HBO show, Divorce, and, of course, a few Sex and the City questions crept up on the interview circuit. During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, a caller asked Parker what the chance was of getting a SATC 3 anytime soon — or really, anytime. “I’m not able to put it in percentages,” she said. “There’s an old-fashioned thing called a warming drawer, and it keeps the plates warm so when you serve the main course the food stays warm, so I’ve been saying it’s in the warming drawer. That will keep everybody perplexed.” Perplexed, indeed.
In an interview with PEOPLE Now, Davis basically said that the series has some unfinished business.
“The whole entire ride of Sex and the City has been one surprise after another surprise,” shared the 51-year-old actress. “We never thought we would really be a hit. We didn’t think we’d win an Emmy, we didn’t think we’d get to make one film, much less another film.”
She added: “I do feel inside like we’re not finished. I do feel like there’s another story. I would be up for anything Sarah Jessica and Michael Patrick King think is the right thing.”
In an interview with PEOPLE, Cattrall played coy on the possibility. She said she wasn’t sure what the story would be, or if they’d be able to get the cast back together again eight years after filming the second movie. However, she did offer a glimmer of hope when she said she missed making people laugh, just as she did in SATC.
“Are we still relevant? That would be the reason to come back,” she said. “I really miss making people laugh, I so enjoy that.”
Obviously, they’re still relevant!
At New York Fashion Week, Sarah Jessica Parker said that it’s still not off the table.
“It’s in a warming drawer. It’s never been a ‘no’ … it’s always been an if and when,” she said. “And that remains the question being asked by two very thoughtful people who are taking into very serious consideration those people who devoted a lot of time. We’re not cavalier about the way we arrive at that decision.”
Well, if SATC ever does come back, it seems it may be sans one very important character: Mr. Big. Noth said that he’s done with the series — in so many words — at the premiere of Manhunt: Unabomber. “I don’t think there’s anything left for me to say about that,” Noth said. “I want to tell other stories.”
And just like that, over seven years of rumors, chatter and maybes have come to a screeching halt. Parker confirmed to Extra that though the project had been in the works, it’s no longer happening.
“It’s over,” the 52-year-old told Extra on Sept. 28. “We’re not doing it.”
She’s as bummed as the rest of us: “I’m disappointed. 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,” she continued.
Just hours after Parker’s confirmation hit the Internet, Cattrall — who had been rumored to be the reason that the third film wasn’t going ahead — issued her own statement on Twitter. She said that she hadn’t done anything about the potential project as of late, and said last year that she didn’t want to do a third movie.
Davis also spoke out about the now-shelved project, echoing Parker’s feelings of disappointment that it will never come to fruition.
“It is true that we are not going to be able to make a 3rd film,” she wrote on Instagram. “I wish that we could have made the final chapter, on our own terms, to complete the stories of our characters. It is deeply frustrating not to able to share that chapter (beautifully written by MPK) with all of you. So we will just have our memories, but please know that all of the love and support for us through the years is felt by us and we are so grateful for all of you!”
A source told PEOPLE that Davis has been the most enthusiastic of the original four women to pursue the third film. The source said: “Kristin was the most into the idea and really hoped it would work.”
Garson also tweeted about his sadness that the movie wouldn’t be made.
Cattrall hit back once again at claims that she was being a “diva” over the third film during an interview with Piers Morgan on his show Life Stories, which airs on ITV on the U.K.
“It’s quite extraordinary to get any kind of negative press about something that I’ve been saying for almost a year of ‘no’ that I’m demanding or a diva,” Cattrall said, according to the Daily Mail. “The answer was always no and a respectful, firm, no.”
“I never asked for any money, I never asked for any projects,” she added. “To be thought of as some kind of diva is absolutely ridiculous.”
She also talked about her co-star, Parker, saying that she “could have been nicer” about the process.
“And this is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker in that I think she could have been nicer.”
Following the interview, Garson threw more shade on Twitter, implying that Cattrall wasn’t being entirely truthful about her claims that she never wanted to do the third film.
That same day, Cattrall made her feelings on the subject even more clear with a simple retweet. She posted a tweet of her Perez Hilton’s that asked users to retweet if they want the writers to kill Cattrall’s character, Samantha Jones off, and make a third Sex and the City movie. If her retweets are any indication, it seems that Cattrall is in favor of the plan.
Cattrall’s true feelings about her costars where revealed when the Piers Morgan interview finally air and she admitted that she had never been close with the other three ladies.
“We’ve never been friends,” she said. “We’ve been colleagues and in some way, it’s a very healthy place to be.”
The actress also revealed that the show’s hard filming schedule is what kept her from having children.
“I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I have 19-hour days on this series. … My Monday morning would start at 4:45 a.m. and go to one or two in the morning. How could I possibly continue to do that, especially in my early 40s?’ ” she said. “And then I realized what a commitment it was just to the [IVF] procedures. I thought, ‘I don’t think it is going to happen.’ It was the first moment — it was extraordinary — in my life where I thought, ‘Maybe I’m just not going to do this.’ ”
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Parker said the back and forth in the press was “enormously painful” for her.
The actress opened up about the hurt of hearing things in the press that “aren’t true” — “especially when it is a personal attack about your character. I’m stunned by how deeply it still cuts.”
Parker said she wanted to continue speaking out as the drama unfolded, but was coached not to.
“When all that stuff was happening with Sex and the City, which I know is meaningless in the world, but when it’s happening and you’re caught up in any of the muscle of that stuff, it’s so painful because all you want to do is respond. All you want to do is say, ‘Are you kidding me!? This is everything I know. This is everything that happened over the last six months. These are the conversations. These are the emails. These are the conversations with lawyers and agents and studio heads,’” she recalled to The Daily Beast. “But you’re counseled time and time again, ‘Don’t do it. You’re going to get in the weeds. It’s a nowhere road.’
“I just kept saying, ‘This was an experience I loved. I love those women. We shared this experience. It was a privilege. If that’s what we’re left with, those memories, there are only four of us who…’ You know?” she added.
She’s been more vocal recently though, talking about the possibility of trying the project again on the Golden Globes red carpet and even jokingly offering Cattrall’s role to Stephen Colbert.
So what changed? Turns out the bevy of sexual misconduct allegations plaguing Hollywood allowed Parker to put the SATC3 allegations into perspective.
“The world shifted,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh this is ridiculous.’ I was afraid to talk about these allegations, and now there are real allegations in the world. And all of a sudden I was like, ‘I think I’m going to answer the question about the Sex and the City movie.”
“For so long I was told to be quiet about all of that stuff. And all of a sudden I’m like, ‘If people are being encouraged to come forward and talk about really difficult, painful, potentially criminal things that they were part of or witnessed, I think I can talk about the Sex and the City 3 movie,’ ” she added, laughing. “I think it’s okay! I’m a grown freaking woman.”
Though she’s open to discussing it now, Parker did understand that the conversation changes the way fans think about the legacy of the project.
“It hurts the franchise… it does,” she said. “It changes the way people experience the show. It changes my own experience to have to talk about it like that. It opens the conversation up time and again. You put the white-hot spotlight back on it again. But then you realize it’s just silliness. Of course I can answer honestly about my experience. Of course I can say what happened. It’s so silly.”
It seems some things — like Carrie and Aidan, Samantha and Smith, Miranda and Robert and Charlotte and Trey — just aren’t meant to last forever.