Another day, another Sex and the City drama. The cast of HBO's successful dramedy (and its two movies) has been the center of some controversy over the past week, specifically actress Kim Cattrall. Because the news was recently broke that a third Sex and the City movie has fallen through, to the chagrin of stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis. And since then, various cast members have revealed that this was at least partly Cattrall's fault, as she apparently didn't want to be in the franchise anymore. But Cattrall has recently suggested a way that it can move forward: by re-casting the role of Samantha Jones.
It's a great part. I played it past the finish line and then some, and I loved it. Another actress should play it --- maybe they could make it an African-American Samantha Jones or a Hispanic Samantha Jones.
This would certainly be a bold choice, but at least Kim Cattrall seems to be willing to hand over the helm of Samantha to another actress. The question is: could this ever really work?
Kim Cattrall's comments to EW are sure to both shock and excite moviegoers, depending on your specific opinion. While SATC fans would love another film, it wouldn't feel the same without Cattrall's characterization of Samantha. The entire point of both the Sex and the City series and its accompanying films is the friendship between the four protagonists, as well as their respective love lives. But if Cattrall was suddenly missing and replaced by another actress, I'm not sure if either the fans or a potential film studio would be interested.
But Kim Cattrall's idea about Samantha Jones being re-cast does go along with issues of visibility and inclusion in popular culture. While Sex and the City was an acclaimed show, it was seriously lacking in diversity. The franchise revolves around four straight privileged white women, and definitely could have used more diversity in its long tenure in pop culture. But suddenly retconning Samantha into a woman of color also has the potential to offend, especially since the actress would only get to play her for one movie. A POC Samantha should have been written as such, rather than used as a device to keep the franchise alive.
The drama revolving around Sex and the City 3 is showing no signs of slowing down. A few actors have already spoke up against Kim Cattrall's departure from the franchise, and Cattrall herself seems all to happy to defend herself publicly. But there's no such thing as bad publicity, so maybe this type of drama will actually give the film new life.