The Friends reunion for HBO Max came together in large part because of Courteney Cox, according to a new report. Variety’s latest feature details the process of getting the mega-popular sitcom revival off the ground. Cox actually ended up being a motivating force for her co-stars to sign on. Last year all of them met at her Malibu beach house to hash it all out. The supposed reunion dinner was probably supposed to be a night for reminiscing, but things quickly took shape. WarnerMedia executives had discussed the plans with Cox earlier that day. Once they laid out their vision for the service, they let the actress’s cozy atmosphere and the power of nostalgia do the rest.
“Everyone was lending a hand because they had to and because it was exciting,” Greenblatt says. “But we knew we couldn’t move quickly if we were asking people to do two jobs. We had to fire up a network, in old-fashioned terms.”
“We didn’t have the luxury of spending three to six months figuring out what product we wanted to build and what the service should or shouldn’t be,” Greenblatt says. “All of our decisions had to be made quickly.”
Now, the Friends reunion will not be headlining the launch of HBO Max due to the coronavirus pandemic. The special will begin shooting whenever health officials and governments say that it is safe. But, it is still coming, as are a lot of the HBO Max originals expected for the first half of next year. Greenblatt and his team have been amazed at how many of these processes can be accomplished at home.
“Can the last lap of this all be done at home? Miraculously, the answer is yes,” Greenblatt says. “It’s still shocking to me that it was all still able to carry on, even the tech side of it.”
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer are all expected to return for the delayed special. Series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman are also rejoining the project. The Friends reunion special was positioned as a massive draw for HBO Max in the early days of the service. The company backed up the Brinks truck to get the streaming rights to the landmark show. Recently, LeBlanc appeared on an episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show and said the project was like, "the six of us together talking about the good old days."
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