After some confirmed, unconfirmed, and then reconfirmed news that HBO Max's upcoming Friends reunion special had finally filmed in Los Angeles surfaced around the middle of April, fans have been waiting for word on when they'll be able to Mathew Perry, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer (along with series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman) back on the old stage. With a premiere date still to be revealed, Cox discussed what the reunion was like with Ellen DeGeneres when she appeared on DeGeneres' talk show. While keeping specifics under wraps, Cox explained just how "unbelievable" and "emotional" it was to be back together on their old stomping grounds for the first time in nearly two decades- as well as dropping that there were some "surprises" during the taping. Oh, and for fans of the series who love that opener where the cast is dancing in the fountain? You might want to check out the segment where Cox explains just how much they disliked shooting it- it will make you respect them even more as actors.
Here's a look at Cox's interview from The Ellen Show– with the Friends conversation starting around the 7:00 mark:
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.