Nicole Ari Parker has been billed to replace Kim Cattrall in the Sex and the City reboot, after the backlash that accompanied the news that the era-defining show’s most iconic character was done with the series.
Ari Parker, known for starring in the acclaimed series Empire as well as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, will reportedly replace Cattrall as the fourth member of the New York friend group. Ari Parker, 50, will play Carrie Bradshaw’s new best friend, documentary-maker Lisa Todd Wexley.
The reboot will be titled And Just Like That … and will be executive produced by three of the original show’s four main stars – Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon – as well as writer Michael Patrick King.
Even during Sex and the City’s peak, there were rumors of friction between cast members. Two years ago, Cattrall made it clear that she felt her association with the series was over.
“I went past the finish line playing Samantha Jones because I loved Sex and the City,” she said. “It was a blessing in so many ways but after the second movie I’d had enough. I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t just replace me with another actress instead of wasting time bullying. No means no.”
Based on the book by author Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City revolves around the fashion-obsessed relationships columnist Carrie (Parker) and her three friends, Miranda (Nixon), Charlotte (Davis) and Samantha (Cattrall). It first aired in 1998 and ran for six seasons, winning seven Emmys and eight Golden Globe awards.
After the reboot was announced in January, many said the show, which has long been criticized for its lack of diversity, seemed dated and would need a significant cultural rethink. Chelsea Fairless, the co-founder of Every Outfit on Sex and the City, said in 2018: “That show was as white as it gets. They didn’t ever have a person of color as a series regular.”
As well as Ari Parker’s starring role, the reboot will introduce three characters played by people of color, with Sara Ramirez, Karen Pittman and Sarita Choudhury to join the quartet.
WarnerMedia said the new series would follow the characters “as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s”. It will consist of 10 half-hour episodes and air on HBO Max.