But the moment to see Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer together in one room for the special will not happen in 2020 at all.
The unscripted episode, tentatively titled The One They Came Back Together, has been hit by delays due to the coronavirus outbreak since it was released for free in November 2019 – and was originally scheduled to air in May for the launch of HBO Max.
The special was scheduled to be filmed in March ahead of the May 2020 air date, but was postponed until later in the year.
And despite producers at production company Fulwell 73, who are set to film the special, saying they are hoping filming will begin in two weeks, HBO has chosen to suspend filming in 2020.
A source told Variety that filming has been moved to May 2021 “at the earliest.”
As Deadline reported hours later, “HBO Max distanced itself from Fulwell 73 quotes about impending Friends reunion.”
The current health crisis has taken its toll on the planning of the special.
Sarah Aubrey, head of original content for HBO Max, previously told The Hollywood Reporter in June: “You’re asking me to extrapolate what the conditions will be in Los Angeles in August, and it’s a dumb race. ”
Although the option of filming the session via Zoom or videoconference has been ruled out, with showmakers wanting the original cast to be reunited onstage at Stage 24 at the Warner Bros. Field in Los Angeles.
Friends star Lisa Kudrow told The Hollywood Reporter, “We haven’t all been in the same room in front of people – I mean, we did it privately several years ago, but it’s all.
“The point of it all is to be in the same room. It hasn’t changed. And HBO Max is incredibly patient and understanding. “