So we're going to call this the official confirmation of the unofficial confirmation of the heavily rumored report that HBO Max's upcoming Friends reunion special finally filmed in Los Angeles last week. Previously, there were rumors that last week was the window they were looking at to film the oft-delayed special, and then we heard rumblings through contacts that it was taking place early last week (those would be the rumors). Following that, Mathew Perry took to Instagram to note that he was "reuniting with my Friends" Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer (and we're assuming series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman)- before it was taken down (our unofficial confirmation). Then on Saturday and Sunday morning, HBO Max made it official with a post confirming filming had wrapped that also included a look at one of the screens from the set.
Speaking with Variety at the NAB Show Executive Leadership Summit back in May 2020, former WarnerMedia Chairman Bob Greenblatt hoped filming on the special could take place by the end of the summer. "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," he explained. "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."
While he kept open the idea that the reunion "may go more to a virtual route if it is delayed too long," Greenblatt preferred to wait as long as possible for the kind of reunion event both the fans and cast want: "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 [HBO Max 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." Ben Winston is set to direct, and executive produces alongside Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, Schwimmer, Crane, Kauffman, and Kevin Bright. Emma Conway and James Longman will co-exec produce. Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative TV serves as the studio, with Fulwell 73 Productions also attached to the project.