Ever since Jennifer Aniston broke Instagram with her debut post on October 16 — the first photo of all six Friends actors in the same place at the same time in years, rumours have been swirling about an official Friends reunion.
On February 22, in the most exciting news, it was announced the cast was going to reunite for an exclusive untitled unscripted special on HBO Max.
Taking to Instagram, all cast members shared a throwback photo with the words: “It’s happening!”, while tagging fellow castmates. Except Matt LeBlanc — who posted the same caption but with a picture from the show M*A*S*H lol).
We thought this news couldn’t get any better, until April 22, when the cast members took to their Instagrams for the “All In Challenge” (which collects donations for America’s Food Fund, Meals on Wheels and No Kid Hungry).
They announced that one lucky fan — and five of their friends, of course, will not only get to visit the Warner Bros. studio lot but also meet and have a coffee with the entire core cast at Central Perk. That’s Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.
For a chance to win the Friends VIP Experience, fans are required to donate money to the All In Challenge. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s only open to US residents, so maybe convince your stateside friends to enter.
View this post on Instagram
Hi guys ?? ❤️⠀ ⠀ We’re so excited to join the ALL IN challenge to help keep people fed and healthy during this time. ⠀ ⠀ We’re inviting you and five of YOUR friends to join the six of us on Stage 24. Be our personal guests in the audience for the taping of our @HBOMAX reunion, as we reminisce about the show and celebrate all the fun we had ? … and get the whole Friends VIP experience on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.⠀ ⠀ We hope this brings a little joy, and something to look forward to. Go to AllInChallenge.com to enter… and donate whatever you can – $10, $25 – every dollar counts. 100% of proceeds will go to @nokidhungry, @mealsonwheelsamerica and #AmericasFoodFund which benefits @feedingamerica and @wckitchen. ⠀ Can’t wait to meet and hug you guys when this is all over ? Until then, keep Facetiming, calling, DMing, and texting your friends and family. We gotta stay connected ??
The reunion special was originally planned to start filming early this year, however, in March, it was announced that the special had been postponed until at least May due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Now, the chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment Bob Greenblatt has announced that filming of the show will potentially be completed by the end of September (end of Summer in the US).
“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 told Variety.
“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.”
Greenblatt did, however, say that they may “may go more to a virtual route, if it is delayed too long.”
“But 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,” he said.
“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.”
When the reunion was announced, Variety, said that “Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will return to the original ‘Friends’ soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank to celebrate the long-running series, which ended its run in 2004.”
Sources also told the publication, that each cast member will receive at least $2.5 million apiece.
“Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together,” chief content officer at HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV, Kevin Reilly said in a statement, before saying that the special will be programmed “alongside the entire ‘Friends’ library.”
“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,” Reilly said.
“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.”
Although the show aired its series finale over 15 years ago, the show was one of Netflix’s most-streamed shows and the need (no, want) for a reunion has been at an all-time high in recent years.
Back in December, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Friends fans may be getting their wish.
According to THR, all six cast members, as well as the show’s creators, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, were in talks for an “unscripted reunion special”.
It wasn’t a big surprise for Friends fanatics, though.
The reunion will be the first time fans would get to watch all six actors in the same place at the same time.
While the cast has remained tight over the years, they’ve been pretty adamant about not doing a Friends revival season a la Will and Grace, and while five of the cast were gathered together for a tribute to James Burrows in 2016, Matthew Perry was absent from that reunion.
Could we be any more excited for this to happen?