Friends fans rejoiced back in February, when HBO Max confirmed that an official reunion special, with all six of the Central Perk gang, was in the works – twenty-five years after the influential sitcom first aired.
The long-rumoured documentary special will be filmed at the hit show’s former Warner Bros. set, but how has filming been impacted by the ongoing coronavirus crisis? And when will we get to see the gang altogether once again?
Here’s everything we know about HBO’s Friends reunion…
Will there be a Friends reunion show?
Yes! The reunion special was originally scheduled to land on HBO Max on May 27th, however due to the global coronavirus outbreak, HBO delayed filming on the unscripted Friends reunion back in March.
According to Variety, WarnerMedia Entertainment head Bob Greenblatt reportedly said on Monday 11th May that filming will hopefully finish by the end of the summer.
“We’re holding out for being able to get this special done hopefully by the end of the summer, if the stars align and hopefully we can get back into production.”
He added that he wants the special to be watched by a live audience and not filmed via webcam.
“We do think there’s a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together and we didn’t want to just suddenly do it on a web call with, you know, six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedrooms.”
However, if the lockdown conditions continue throughout the year, the Friends reunion “may go more to a virtual route, if it is delayed too long”.
How much are the Friends cast getting paid for reunion?
It’s The One Where… All the Friends Return – back in February, HBO Max confirmed that the ‘friends’ – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – will all reunite for the documentary special.
It was previously reported that the six stars will each pocket a hefty sum of over $3 million for the appearance, according to Deadline, while the documentary will help promote HBO Max, HBO’s upcoming streaming service.
Speaking on Friday 21st February, HBO Max boss Kevin Reilly said: “Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together – we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library [for US viewers].
“I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation.
“It taps into an era when friends – and audiences – gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans.”
What will happen in Friends reunion?
The special, which will be available to watch on premium subscription service HBO Max, will be an unscripted reunion featuring all six ‘friends’, with the show’s original creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane also being involved.
Being a documentary special, we will not see the cast reprise their beloved roles, but instead chat about stories from behind-the-scenes.
Friends is currently available to watch on Netflix for UK subscribers