The prospects for another "Sex and the City" movie have been in question ever since the diminished box-office dollars and lukewarm reviews for "Sex and the City 2" began coming in last spring. But Sarah Jessica Parker, who produced as well as starred in the two Michael Patrick King creations, said this week she's not willing to give up on the franchise just yet.
"I would go back," said Parker, speaking to 24 Frames on the New York set of her new movie, the working-woman comedy "I Don't Know How She Does It." "I think there's one more story to tell. I know there is."
The second "SATC" ended with Parker's Carrie Preston and Chris Noth's Mr. Big reconciling their marriage differences after said nuptials faced a threat from Carrie's former beau Aidan. Over six TV seasons and two movies, however, there have been no children (yet) for the former Miss Bradshaw, something that a third film could explore.
But Parker, taking on her biggest film role with "I Don't Know How She Does It" -- in which she stars in pretty much every scene -- said she may not be interesting in reprising her iconic role at this point in her career.
"I'd definitely tell that [third] story, and I know Michael would do it right. But maybe not now. Maybe in five years, you know?" she said.
Parker explained that the impulse to wait came from a desire to feel challenged in her work.
"It's not that I want to get away from [SATC]. In a million years, who could get away from it it?" she said. It's just that "if I'm not scared again that's not good for me. That's literally no good for me. If I'm not terrified and nauseous and worried the first two weeks of production, then what's going to happen? You could wither on the vine. It's like if you can't use your leg. It just atrophies."
Some reports have said that a new movie would, in the manner of so many Hollywood franchises, take the shape of a prequel, with Blake Lively taking on the role of a young Carrie Bradshaw. (Candace Bushnell is set to publish "Summer and the City," about a 19-year-old Carrie's move to New York that said movie would be based on.) Parker said she was pretty taken aback by those reports.
"I was like, Wha-a-a-a-t?' " the actress said. She said she wasn't opposed to the idea of a "Sex and the City"-type story with twentysomethings -- she just didn't feel it should feature specifically SATC characters, especially since both the TV series and the movies explained some of those characters' backstories.
"There are a lot of important and interesting stories that 21-year-olds can tell," Parker said. "I don't begrudge any 21-year-old the opportunity to tell their stories. They prove to us on an everyday basis that they're interesting. Even their narcissism is interesting. Even their inertia is interesting. Even their tonal speech patterns are interesting.
"But I don't think we can pretend to go back," she continued. "It's creating two histories. It's like, 'Oh I didn't know that about Carrie Bradshaw.' "
--Steven Zeitchik, reporting from New York
Photo: Sarah Jessica Parker in "Sex and the City 2." Credit: Craig Blankenhorn / New Line