If you were a Sex and the City fan who happened to be on any corner of the internet over the past few months, you ran a high risk of inadvertently coming across major spoilers for the HBO Max revival series And Just Like That.
Over the course of filming this past summer in New York City, paparazzi swarmed the set and eagle-eyed fans were regularly submitting real-time sightings of stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis to Instagram gossip account Deuxmoi.
While most of the leaks were relatively innocuous—such as where Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, and Charlotte York were spotted eating lunch—sneaky photographers armed with long lenses were able to get a close-up view of a script that seemed to reveal a major spoiler: Carrie and her husband Mr. Big (Chris Noth) were no longer together.
“I was taping the podcast; I was washing my hair. Yes, I wasn’t eating or sleeping, but at least I felt good about my marriage. Now I’m just one of the wives he was taking care of,” the leaked script for Carrie read.
While Page Six initially believed the on-off couple had been in a midst of a divorce, the premiere episode on Dec. 9 gave the true reason for Carrie's loneliness (spoiler alert!): Mr. Big dies from a heart attack after his 1,000th Peloton ride.
To keep the shocking twist from getting out, showrunner and executive producer Michael Patrick King admitted on Friday to having some tricks up his sleeve.
King explained that while filming Mr. Big’s funeral scene, he had Noth come to set fully dressed in character to throw off ever-lurking fans and paparazzi, who indeed later published photos of the cast dressed in all black outside the funeral venue.
“We had to have some red herrings!” King laughed.
Actress Nicole Ari Parker, who plays newcomer Lisa Todd Wexley, also revealed there were several precautions taken to avoid leaks, saying contracts were so tight it was like “signing away your firstborn.”
King’s plan seemed to work. Noth had already been confirmed to return to the show and was even spotted in Paris filming with production, although that might have been another fake-out to keep the bluff going.
Instead, many people were convinced that the funeral was actually for beloved character Samantha Jones. After actress Kim Cattrall refused to sign on for the revival series, fans speculated that the writers had killed off the promiscuous publicist to explain her absence. Thankfully, they settled on a much more respectable excuse.