Warner Bros. will soon be launching their new and improved streaming service HBO Max, which in addition to all of the original HBO content, will also include an extensive library of WB’s properties. And chief among that library is the entire Friends catalog (poor one out for all those Netflix subscribers).
Even better is that to kick off the launch of said streaming service, Warner Bros. has reportedly reached a deal with the cast of Friends to bring them all back for a reunion special. Details about what the special will entail remain unknown, but it’ll be an hour long and the cast will be paid handsomely.
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer will earn between $3-4 million for appearing in the special. And while this has been in the works for a while now, HBO Max CCO Kevin Reilly apparently had a hard time getting the cast to agree to a number they were happy with. He was cautiously optimistic about it in January, though, saying:
“There is interest all around, and yet we can’t get the interests all alighted to push the button on it,” said Reilly. “Today it’s just maybe.”
But money talks and the cast finally came to an agreement. Co-creators/executive producers Marta Kauffman and David Crane, meanwhile, are expected to have some involvement in the special as well, which is aiming to help launch Friends reruns on HBO Max.
Just last September, while appearing on a 25th anniversary panel for the show at the Tribeca TV Festival, Kauffman and Crane shut down rumors of a reunion or reboot of Friends, saying:
“We will not be doing a reunion show, we will not be doing a reboot,” said Kauffman. “The show was about that time in life when friends are your family.”
So much for those comments, as it seems for the right price, anyone can change their mind. WB coughed up $425 million for the rights to the show, after all, so what’s $20 million more to get the band back together?
And while it seems unlikely at this stage that we’ll ever see Friends return as a regular series, fans will no doubt be content with this upcoming special and the entire show at their fingertips again.