First, let us give you the good news. On April 11, the six ‘Friends’ cast members finally wrapped up filming for the long-awaited and long-delayed reunion special
For years now, there have been endless rumours circulating in social media about an imminent Friends reunion special. Yet, we never had the good fortune. Every time more than one of our favourite cast members were seen together in public, our hearts leapt and we prayed for the ultimate reunion special that was always kept at arm’s length, until the rumours began to feel like cruel jokes.
Yet, on April 11, after an infuriatingly long Covid-induced delay, it was announced that shooting for Friends reunion was done, and the special will finally reach us in 2021. Here’s everything you need to know about the much-anticipated reunion special:
So who exactly are reuniting?
Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and David Schwimmer (Ross) have all come together at the original Friends soundstage—Stage 24, at the Warner Bros Studio in Burbank for one last reunion. The main six-member cast is also set to executive produce the special.
All the leads took to Instagram following the reunion announcement and posted the same photo, writing, “It's happening.”
Co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman will also reunite with the actors for the special.
Who’s the director?
Ben Winston will be in the director’s seat. He has notably served as one of the Late Late Show writers. Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane, Emma Conway and James Longman along with Winston will be the additional executive producers.
This is not a new episode
As sad as it is, the cast members are not reuniting for a new episode. We will never get to know what happened to them and how their lives have developed after the curtain had fallen on the show with "The One Where They Say Goodbye" on May 6, 2004.
The cast will appear as themselves, give us a tour of the old set and reminisce about the ten years they had spent together making one of America’s most popular sitcoms.
HBO Max further explained, "Lastly, in order to avoid any misunderstanding about what this special is, we want to make it very clear that this is not a new, original episode of the series. The cast will be appearing as themselves, not as their beloved characters."
The reunion was shot over three days and will include rare behind-the-scenes footage.
Covid-19 didn’t spare Friends either
The project was set to kick off on March 23 and 24, 2020 in Burbank, but was initially postponed until May. But soon after, it was delayed indefinitely.
The leads reacted positively to the news at first, including Jennifer Aniston, who told Deadline, "It’s going to be super. You know what? This has also given us more time to make it even more exciting and more fun than it would have been. So I choose to see it as the glass is half-full that it got postponed. Look, we’re not going anywhere. You’re never going to get rid of Friends, sorry. You’re stuck with us for life guys."
The reunion will be unscripted
During an interview with The Sunday Times, Lisa Kudrow revealed that the special will not be scripted. "No audience has seen us together since the show was over. We will reminisce, talk about what was 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."
Where to watch the special?
The special will premiere on HBO Max in 2021; the exact release date has not yet been revealed. All the ten seasons of the show are also available on the streaming platform.
How much are the leads getting paid?
Well, they will be making plenty. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the leads will be paid between $2.5 million and $3 million each for the reunion special.