'Friends' reunion special likely to film at end of summer

Los Angeles, May 12 (PTI) The shooting of the much-anticipated 'Friends' reunion special, which had been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus-led production shutdown, is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

The one-off event for HBO Max was originally slated to be available on the WarnerMedia's upcoming streaming service on its May 27 launch.

WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt said they are hoping to get back to production soon.

'At first we thought, shows will be delayed for a month or two at the most, and now it seems like it's going to be far longer than that. We're holding out for being able to get this special done hopefully by the end of the summer, if the stars align and hopefully we can get back into production.

'We do think there's a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together and we didn't want to just suddenly do it on a web call with, you know, six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedrooms,' Greenblatt told Variety on Monday.

However, the senior executive added that should the lockdown continue indefinitely, the reunion 'may go more to a virtual route, if it is delayed too long'.

'But at the moment, we're trying to look to the future and get this thing done in a more conventional way, and I think it's worth waiting for.

'We would have loved to have had it on day one, but at the same time, if we can get it launched in the fall, I think it'll be something that we can have the audience really looking forward to as well,' he added.

The six stars -- Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer -- were scheduled to reunite for the unscripted reunion.

To generate donations towards coronavirus relief efforts as part of 'All in Challenge', the cast last month announced to give out six tickets to the taping of the special.

The actors will also promised to give away a cup of coffee at the sitcom's fictitious yet iconic 'Central Perk' as part of the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Burbank. PTI RDS RDS