I’ll be there for you! After months (or years) of rumors and anticipation, Friends‘ reunion of our dreams becomes a reality. The cast is set to gather on HBO Max, HBO’s new streaming service, launched May 27, to honor the 25th anniversary of the iconic sitcom.
There have been some delays on the road to completion as the film industry rests during the coronavirus pandemic. Still, as we wait for the set to be Jennifer Aniston’s flawless behind-the-scenes Instagrams, we’re pointing out what we know about the project so far.
LISA KUDROW READY REUNION
Lisa Kudrow told The Sunday Times that she was excited about getting the gang back together.
She said, “Since the series was done, no one has seen us together. We’ll remember, talk about what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s not us playing our characters. It’s not an episode. It’s not scripted. It’s six of us coming together for the first time in I don’t know how long.”
Kudrow also said she loves joining her former castmates as they all have great memories. She said, “I think I recall things, but then I speak to Matt [LeBlanc] or Jennifer [Aniston], and they recall everything.
THE STARS ARE COMING OUT
Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and David Schwimmer (Ross) will arrive at the original Warner Bros Friends Soundstage — Stage 24. Burbank studio — film. The six stars will also produce executives.
Late Show writer Ben Winston will direct. He’s an executive producer and Friends EPs Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane; and Emma Conway and James Longman.
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PRODUCTION WAS POSTPONED BUT IT MAY THIS SUMMER
Like other shows and films during the global pandemic, Friends Special has adjusted its filming schedule. The project was initially scheduled to film in Burbank on March 23 and 24 but was “delayed until at least May,” Hollywood Reporter said in March.
Now, it’s expected to be shooting at the end of the month, according to WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Robert Greenblatt. “We ‘re aiming to get this special finished by the end of summer, if the stars align and then we can get back into business,” he said, per Variety.
The option to do the reunion is virtually less likely, although if production is “delayed too long,” Greenblatt added.
“We think it’s worth getting a huge, raucous live audience to see these six great friends coming back together and we didn’t just want to do it unexpectedly with, you know, six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedrooms,” he said.
NOT AVAILABLE WHEN HBO MAX LAUNCHES
Owing to the delay in production, when the new platform goes live on May 27, the Friends reunion special won’t be readily available on HBO Max. The exact launch date is unknown.
EVERY FRIEND WILL BE ON HBO MAX
Now that Friends off Netflix, the series — all 236 episodes — will find HBO‘s online home. Get ready to stream in May.
THE REUNION IS NOT A NEW FRIENDS EPISODE
The main cast will reunite, revisit the set, have surprises, and share back-the-scenes footage but not play their original characters. They’ll only appear as themselves.
HBO Max explained in a statement, “Finally , in order to avoid any misunderstanding of what this special is, we want to make it very clear that this is not a new , original series episode. The cast will appear as themselves, not as their beloved characters.”
CAST REPORTEDLY MAKES MILLIONS
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the stars negotiated their payments together, charging $2.5 million to $3 million each for the meeting exclusive. That’s much more than their $1 million-per-episode rates when Friends was still running.
What are your thoughts? Yay, or leave it how it is?!
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