The COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended much of the entertainment industry as we know it, with many highly-anticipated projects being stalled or delayed due to social distancing guidelines. One of the properties that has been met with a wave of uncertainty is the Friends reunion special, which is expected to debut at some point on the HBO Max streaming service. While recent reports have indicated that the unscripted reunion could film sometime in August, series star David Schwimmer hinted that that's a little uncertain at the moment. During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Schwimmer revealed that the cast and crew are reevaluating whether or not it would be safe to film the reunion in August, and that they will "wait until it's safe" to film if that isn't the case.
"This reunion special, which we'd love to shoot... It's unscripted," Schwimmer explained. "It's basically a really fun interview, and then some other surprise bits. It's supposed to happen maybe in August, the middle of August. But honestly, we're going to wait and see another week or two, if we all determine it's really safe enough to do. And if not, then we'll wait until it's safe."
Schwimmer will be joined by his co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry for the special along with series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman. Schwimmer previously hinted that a "live-audience component" could be part of the special, although that's definitely uncertain given California's current social distancing guidelines.
This also wouldn't be the first time that the Friends reunion had been delayed, as previous reports indicated that filming was initially expected to have taken place in March.
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is ‘Friends,’” Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment, previously said in a statement. “Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries — Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) — and two of the most experienced digital experts — Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell — I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”
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