Fans of the TV show Friends have something to look forward to in May 2020, as the cast is reuniting for a long-rumored reunion special according to The Hollywood Reporter. The special is said to be a single episode that will launch on HBO Max, and the entire library of previous seasons will also be available on the streaming platform.
The special is purportedly unscripted and will feature all of the original cast members: Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc.
In addition to the cast, the creators of the show — David Crane and Marta Kauffman — will be returning.
Chief content officer at HBO Max, Kevin Reilly, described the vision for the long-awaited reunion episode.
“Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire ‘Friends’ library.”
The cast was apparently adamant that the special be unscripted, and each actor negotiated a payout of between $2.5 to $3 million to appear in the reunion. That sum more than doubles the cast’s prior high of $1 million earnings per episode, which they achieved in the seventh season of Friends‘ original run.
The cast also took to their Instagram pages to share the news with identical photos, save for Matt LeBlanc, who opted to joke about it with a photo of M*A*S*H.
Jennifer Aniston’s share revealing the news of the cast reunion received over 4 million likes within a matter of hours, illustrating that fans are clearly excited about the news. However, many followers were seemingly a little confused about the meaning of her somewhat cryptic post.
“WAIT I NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHATS HAPPENING HERE,” exclaimed a follower.
“I can’t breathe!! What’s is happening here @jenniferaniston,” wrote a second Instagram user.
“Omggggg IS THIS WHAT I THINK IT IS,” raved a fan.
“COULD YOU *BE* ANYMORE SERIOUS?!” joked a supporter.
It’s worth noting that Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry only recently joined Instagram. Their arrival on the social media platform seemed like a coincidence at the time, but may have been a planned effort in order to prepare for this latest news. Many cast members have been sharing throwback snapshots and behind-the-scenes pictures as well — on January 23, Courteney Cox shared a photo from the last day of filming the initial run of Friends.
Fans will need to wait until an unspecified date in May to watch the special on HBO Max, as the episode is slated to be available when the platform launches. An HBO Max subscription is expected to cost approximately $15 per month.
Although Friends was available for streaming on Netflix through 2019, it appears that WarnerMedia, who backs HBO Max, will now control the show’s future on streaming services. The company is reportedly paying $85 million a year, for five years, for the privilege of hosting the beloved sitcom.