After a year of delay in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends: The Reunion has finally finished filming.
Friends’ official accounts on different social media sites announced that production on the HBO Max unscripted special had been completed this past weekend. The announcement came with a photo from the project’s outdoor set, featuring what appears to be the title card of the reunion special.
— FRIENDS (@FriendsTV) April 11, 2021
At the beginning of April, several news outlets reported that Friends: The Reunion would start filming in the second week of the month. This was ultimately confirmed by series star Matthew Perry when he took to Instagram last Friday night to post a photo of himself in a makeup chair. “Seconds before eating a makeup brush,” he joked in the caption. “Not to mention reuniting with my Friends.”
Though Perry deleted the picture moments later, several fans managed to capture screenshots of the actual post, which quickly became viral on social media.
Aside from Perry, set designer Greg Grande also recently posted a photo of the sitcom’s iconic New York apartment on Instagram. That post, however, was also quickly taken down.
What can fans expect from Friends: The Reunion?
Friends: The Reunion will reunite the shows six main cast members ― Perry (Chandler Bing), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay), David Schwimmer (Ross Geller) and Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani) ― who will reminisce on the years working on the show together and their friendships since.
Aside from the aforementioned outdoor set, portions of the unscripted special were also filmed on Stage 24, the comedy’s original soundstage on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank. During her appearance on the podcast Literally! With Rob Lowe last January, Kudrow said she believes Central Perk and other memorable sets from the series would also be featured during the special.
In the same interview, Kudrow mentioned that Friends: The Reunion has “different facets” to it, including some pre-shots that she had done long before the actual filming started earlier this month.
While the Friends: The Reunion is unscripted and the cast members will not necessarily be in character, Schwimmer revealed during his appearance on The Graham Norton Show earlier this month that “there is one section of it where they “all read something.”
Who will be the host of Friends: The Reunion?
Aside from the six main cast members of the show, Friends: The Reunion will also feature a host that will serve as the moderator and emcee of the special. There’s no word yet on who the host is, but Schwimmer said on Andy Cohen’s Radio Andy on SiriusXM last month that it’s not Ellen DeGeneres or Billy Crystal.
When asked if he can actually say who it is, the actor replied, “I don’t know if I can, actually. I should have found that out. I apologize. [But] I can tell you it’s not Ellen, it’s not Billy Crystal.”
How much are the cast members getting paid for Friends: The Reunion?
All the six stars of the sitcom are reportedly being paid $2.5 million each for the special. For comparison, toward the end of the show’s original run, each one of them was getting approximately $1 million per episode and two percent of the show’s syndication revenue.
When will Friends: The Reunion premiere?
Friends: The Reunion was supposed to be one of the launch specials for HBO Max last May. But since production on the project was delayed for a year, the streamer has yet to announce a new release window for the special. It’s very likely, however, that it will be released within the year.