An unscripted Friends reunion special could be happening at HBO Max

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A couple of weeks ago, Jennifer Aniston was a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and when Ellen asked her about whether a Friends reboot, Jen said “No” to that, but added: “Listen 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.” This, after years of hearing that Friends isn’t coming back. Well, it seems like Jen wasn’t bluffing, and we might be closer to hearing about the project that’s in the works: A reunion special could be coming to HBO Max!

Talks are currently underway for an unscripted reunion special that would feature Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, as well as series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman. Sources caution that a deal is far from done and agreements with cast and creatives still need to be hammered out. When and if deals are completed, the challenge then becomes sorting out everyone’s schedules. Of course, the talks could fizzle and the whole concept could fall apart.

HBO Max and producers WBTV declined comment…

Sources note that WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt has been the driving force pushing for the Friends reunion, which would pair well with HBO Max’s debut and the comedy’s new streaming home. Sources say that the cast is willing to do it is an accomplishment in and of itself.

The cast and creators, for their part, have remained steadfast over the years since the series wrapped its 10-season run that they would not do any sort of scripted revival. NBC staged a mini-Friends reunion in 2016 as part of a special honoring legendary director and producer James Burrows. Five of the six stars — save for Perry — participated in the look back that also featured the casts of Will & Grace, Cheers and The Big Bang Theory.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

I’ll believe it when I see it, given that no one is confirming the negotiations (not surprising) and they’ve likely only just started. I think the cast has warmed to the idea over the years. I can understand wanting to get far away from the characters with which they’ll be forever identified after the show wrapped. In more recent years, they’ve chalked up a reunion not happening to Marta and David and/or their busy schedules, rather than their own disinterest.

It seems, given that David Crane and Marta Kauffman are also in talks to participate, that the special would not feature the actors playing their respective characters (unless the show does something reminiscent of the conceit used in BH 90210, which I doubt). It sounds like this might be some sort of extended sit-down interview, which could be fun, as long as it’s not really an extended clip-show. Given everyone’s schedules, an inability to find time that works for everyone could be the reason that this falls apart, nevermind the talks. I guess we’ll see! I wonder whether they’d be able to get any of the recurring guest stars to come back, too. (Just not Tate Donovan.)

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16 Responses to “An unscripted Friends reunion special could be happening at HBO Max”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    My guess is they are going to do some sort of extended interview, with clips, and maybe a few re-enactments of key scenes (turkey on the head, anyone?) I’ll watch but I’m not dying for it, you know?

    My guess is that while the cast has moved on, they’ve also come to terms with the fact that they will all be known in pop culture forever for those characters, and that’s not such a bad thing in the end.

  2. Arizona says:

    this sounds fairly pointless to be honest. everyone has remained in the public eye and given countless interviews about friends and everything. The only way I’d be interested if they were going to do a scripted thing even if it was just an hour long special. this doesn’t sound like something I’ll watch.

  3. Snowslow says:

    The best take on this is by Hadley Freedman at the Guardian who actually scripted it. Genius piece of journalism – like, real journalism ;-). I lol’ed several times at how pertinent it was.

    Also, I WANT Aniston’s dress in the last pic. Never thought I’d say that.

  4. manda says:

    Wow, Chandler looks old. But of course, most of us from back then are. Joey looks old but he still looks pretty good. I envy hair that color

    Also, Jennifer Aniston looks good in that dress in the bottom pic. I like the dress, maybe she looks a bit weird in it? I can’t tell if it is her or the angle of the pic/the way she is standing

    I still haven’t figured out what exactly HBO max is, but if my husband gets it, then I will likely check this out

  5. S808 says:

    I love Friends but won’t watch this. They’ve already done interviews what else is there to say that hasn’t been said in the last 25 years?

  6. Tuntmore says:

    Ugh, no thank you.

    When I was a teenager and “Friends” was on, I loved it. But the show hasn’t aged well at all, and I haven’t watched an episode in years. For one, so many of the jokes and plots were stolen from “Wings,” a much better-written show. Also, the characters actually became less developed and more caricature-like as the seasons went on, and the writing got seriously lazy.

    I have no idea why younger people love it now. Besides the lazy writing and stale jokes, there’s no diversity, and there’s body-shaming all over the place.

    To be fair, the cast was (mostly) excellent. But the casts of other NBC shows like “Wings” and “Cheers” were just as strong, if not stronger, and with far better writing. I just plain don’t get the continued “Friends” obsession.

    • Snowslow says:

      Kids love Friends because of the fashion and the cosiness of an unpolitical world.
      My daughter dresses like a character of Friends and she’s 20.
      Everything I hate from that period she adores, even the scrunchies.
      Also, and even though there are some seriously stupid takes (on intelligence, making fun of Ross, on body-shape and lack of diversity) it is really mild and it is, well, about friendship.
      My take is that kids nowadays are nostalgic of an era without social media.
      Funny thing is, in New York the characters would have never been able to afford those flats nor the lifestyle and especially not living on such small wages.
      In fact, Friends is a pathologically regressive sitcom and that is why it is so successful. It plays on modern anxieties. Even more so today.

      • DaisySharp says:

        They are very nostaligic. I was surprised to hear my nieces (late teens) expressing how much they wish the had grown up in the 90’s before social media and cell phones. But then I think back to the 90’s and, I do remember wishing I had grown up in the very late 60’s to early 70’s because of woodstock, flower power, the peace movement. That was all very me. So I think this is kinda natural. We didn’t have a 60’s or 70’s tv show that really encompossed those decades though. Not that I can think of.

        And then you’re right about the clothes of course. The way I was dressing in the 90’s I would fit right in with my nieces today. And the friendship. That rings with people.

      • minx says:

        Same. My daughter is 20 and she and her contemporaries LOVE Friends.

  7. DaisySharp says:

    So one of my tweeps posted that picture of Cox and Perry last week, and I asked, who’s that guy on the left? Then it dawned on me and I followed up; my god that’s not mattew perry is it?

    He’s 50. So don’t say it’s age. He looks 80 there.

    • Snowslow says:

      I hate to be negative but they both look older than they are. Drugs on one side and bad plastic surgery on the other are going to traumatise the kids who watch young Friends now 🤪

      • DaisySharp says:

        That’s true. I was already used to Cox’s jacked face though, and I really didn’t recognize Perry, so it was a shock.

    • Erinn says:

      He’s been open about alcoholism, but he’s also had some pretty serious health issues. I was actually thinking he looks relatively good when you keep the health stuff in mind.

  8. Sarah says:

    Will it still be as lily-white as the original?

  9. Wisca says:

    Keep It.

  10. Kimberly says:

    I have zero interest in anything but a scripted piece of a Friend’s world where Joey was casted as Iron Man, Pheobe is the creator of an Honest like company, Monica is the host of Masterchef US, Rach is a “Real Housewife”, Chandler is a stay at home dad and Ross took over Bill Nye the science guy….