Michael Patrick King Reveals Stanford’s Original ‘And Just Like That’ Storyline

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Sex and the City fans were left in disbelief after the news of Willie Garson’s passing. He played the role of Stanford Blatch, Carrie Bradshaw's (Sarah Jessica Parker) classy, outspoken best friend in the original series and the first three episodes of And Just Like That...

Originally, Stanford was set to appear in all ten episodes of the series. However, halfway through filming the reboot, Garson couldn’t continue because he was battling pancreatic cancer. Due to his deteriorating health, he left the show and later passed away on September 21, 2021.

Now, Michael Patrick King is opening up about the original storyline intended for Blatch in the revival series. During a Q&A session with Variety, King revealed that the writers had bigger plans for Garson’s character.

“[Garson] was in all 10 episodes. Before I knew that Willie was sick and couldn't complete it, Stanford was going to have a midlife crisis," he explained. “Stanford's character always had a borderline career as a manager, and we were like going to explore the fact that it wasn't a real career. It was going to be Carrie and him, feeling the shifts. Anthony [Marentino, Stanford's husband played by Mario Cantone] and him were probably going to have split anyway.”

King continued, “Then we would keep both of them in, and everybody would be relieved that they were divorced because it was not pleasant for anybody. But there was a series of really fun, flirty, hilarious confidante scenes with Carrie that I loved. That old, old, very specific chemistry that Carrie and Stanford have, which is based totally on the uniqueness of Willie and Sarah Jessica's history.”

Once King and the writers learned of Garson's illness, they had to rewrite the storyline and, unfortunately, write off his character. The showrunner shared that writing off Blatch was the “most threadbare writing” he’s ever done. 

We'll miss you, Willie—and Stanford. For more on the revival series, check out our PureWow podcast here.

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'And Just Like That' Doc Features Behind-the-Scenes Look at Making of 'Sex and the City' Revival

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...