TWENTY five years after those six iconic small screen friends debuted on NBC, it seems that they are getting back together again.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that talks are under way for a “Friends” reunion special that would bring back all six main cast members – Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc – plus creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman.
Sources stress that no deals are in place at this time, but the fact that all of the cast members and creators are willing to come together again is a big step forward.
If and when the deals for the cast and creators get finalised, then they will have to sort out the schedules for all six stars and the creators, which could be tricky to say the least.
The news comes less than a month after Jennifer Aniston shared a photo of her reuniting with the rest of her “Friends” co-stars as her first official photo on Instagram.
HBO Max and Warner Bros. Television refused to comment on the report, but it comes just months after HBO Max secured a deal for the original “Friends” series.
“Friends”, which aired 10 seasons on NBC from 1994 to 2004, had been streaming in its entirety on Netflix since Jan 2015.
However, it was reported in July that the new WarnerMedia streaming service HBO Max had obtained the rights to “Friends”, outbidding Netflix for the coveted rights, with the show leaving Netflix at the end of 2019 and HBO Max slated to launch in May 2020.
HBO Max paid US$85 million per year in a five-year deal for the streaming rights worth US$425 million, after Netflix had paid a sum of between US$80 million and US$100 million to keep “Friends” on their service for all of 2019.
Sources claim that WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was a “driving force” in pushing for the Friends reunion.
The cast and creators have been adamant over the years that a reunion or a reboot would never happen.
Aniston revealed in October on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show that a reboot, “won't be even close to as good what it was,” and it, “would ruin” the original.
She did seem more amenable to a reunion, though, telling Ellen in June that, “I would do it,” and she thought the rest would be on board too.
“The girls would do it. And the boys would do it, I'm sure,” Aniston said at the time, though nothing was set in stone about a reunion at the time.
She even hinted that something was brewing between the cast, adding, “We would love for there to be something, but we don't know what that something is. So we're just trying. We're working on something.”
Perhaps the most surprising element to this reunion is creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman coming aboard, since they emphatically stated just months earlier it would not happen.
“We will not be doing a reunion show, we will not be doing a reboot. The show was about that time in life when friends are your family,” said Marta Kauffman at the Tribeca TV Festival.
David Crane added, “We did the show we wanted to do. We got it right, and we put a bow on it.”
A reunion of one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time would certainly be quite the boon for an upstart streaming service like HBO Max, though it's still a long way from happening.
This also comes as Warner Bros. Television has been celebrating the 25th anniversary of the show's debut with a number of events.
The celebration includes pop-ups of the Central Perk coffee shop the characters hung out at, special screenings and replica Friends couches popping up at random landmarks around the globe. – Daily Mail