TV's most iconic friends are still planning to reunite, it's just taking a little longer than expected. On Monday, May 11, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt offered an update on HBO Max's Friends reunion, and shared his hopes that the special will be filmed by the end of summer. Like most of Hollywood's TV shows and movies, the Friends reunion was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but Greenblatt is hopeful that filming will be back on track soon. And if the lockdown continues into the fall, he has a backup plan ready to go.
Originally, the Friends reunion was intended to be available on HBO Max when the new streamer launches on May 27. Unfortunately, the special — which will reunite Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer on Friends' original sound stage — had to be postponed indefinitely in the wake of the public health crisis. Now HBO Max will still launch with every Friends episode in its library, but it will be lacking the reunion until its safe for the actors to film in front of a live studio audience.
"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," Greenblatt told Variety. He also noted that, for now, he's reluctant to film the special virtually because "there's a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together."
Fans of the NBC comedy have long wanted a scripted Friends reunion episode, but having the actors come together to celebrate the show is the next best thing. Still, if the end of summer comes and it's still not safe to film, Greenblatt said that a virtual special isn't completely off the table. He said the reunion "may go more to a virtual route, if it is delayed too long."
But for now, he's hopeful that the cast will reunite on the sound stage where the iconic show filmed for 10 seasons. And at least one super fan and five of their favorite friends could be in the audience to watch the long-awaited taping. In late April, Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer announced they were taking part in the All In Challenge, which lets celebrities help raise money for those who have been left food insecure due to the pandemic. The actors announced on the respective Instagram feeds that one winner and their five best friends will be invited to watch the taping live and spend time hanging with the cast.
Despite everything that's going on in the world, Friends remains a comfort to many, so it's only right that fans exercise patience while they wait for the gang to hang out in Central Perk one more time.