And Just Like That creator reveals original plans for Stanford Blatch before actor’s untimely death

Willie Garson and Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of Sex and the City, laughing

Willie Garson’s character Stanford Blatch was set to appear in all episodes of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…, before he passed away during filming.

The beloved actor died at the age of 57 after losing his secret battle with pancreatic cancer, and now the And Just Like That… creator Michael Patrick King has revealed that storyline that had been planned for Stanford.

Stanford was the friend and confidante to Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) throughout both the original series as well as the first three episodes of the HBO Max original that premiered in December.

During a Q&A with Variety, King confirmed that Stanford was set to feature regularly as he explained: “He 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.”

Mario Cantone and Willie Garson as Anthony and Stanford.

Mario Cantone and Willie Garson as Anthony and Stanford. (Warner Bros)

He continued: “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 [Stanford’s husband played by Mario Cantone] and him were probably going to have split anyway.”

King then added: “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.”

Plans were changed when the cast and crew learned of Garson’s death, and his character was written off the show in episode four with a sudden work-related move to Tokyo.

Willie Garson and his son Nathen Garson at a charity event for LGBT+ homeless youth services in 2015 (Amanda Edwards/Getty)

News of Garson’s death was revealed on 21 September, with HBO going on to release a statement.

“Willie Garson was in life, as on-screen, a devoted friend and a bright light for everyone in his universe. He created one of the most beloved characters from the HBO pantheon and was a member of our family for nearly 25 years,” it read. “We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing and extend our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Tributes poured in And Just Like That… co-stars, colleagues, friends and fans on social media, with the most touching tribute coming from Garson’s son Nathen, whom he adopted in 2009.

“I love you so much papa. Rest in peace,” he wrote. “I’m so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much. I’m so proud of you. I will always love you, but I think it’s time for you to go on an adventure of your own.

“You’ll always be with me. Love you more than you will ever know and I’m glad you can be at peace now.”