After an extended break, it sounds like the Friends reunion is starting to come together once more. The original six stars were slated to do a special taped discussion to talk about the long-running sitcom, which would've coincided with the launch of HBO Max on May 27. After the coronavirus pandemic forced HBO to put the reunion on hold back in March, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt told Variety they're aiming to film it at the end of the summer.
"At first we thought, shows will be delayed for a month or two at the most, and now it seems like it's going to be far longer than that, Greenblatt explained. "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. 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."
He added that the reunion "may go more to a virtual route if it is delayed too long," but is still holding out for an in-person special with a live studio audience. "At the moment, we're trying to look to the future and get this thing done in a more conventional way, and I think it's worth waiting for. We would have loved to have had it on [HBO Max on] day one, but at the same time, if we can get it launched in the fall, I think it'll be something that we can have the audience really looking forward to as well."
Rumors of a Friends reunion (or reboot, or revival) had circulated for years, but after Greenblatt hinted in December that talks were happening, it was confirmed back in February. Like countless film and TV productions, it shut down back in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The show's stars, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, have been trying to raise money for charity in the meantime. The six have been auctioning off the chance for fans to attend the special (whenever that may be) if they donate money to a legion of worthy causes via the All-In Challenge.