Shooting for the much anticipated 'Friends' reunion had been delayed indefinitely. But those behind it are determined to get filming started soon.
WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt said production for the TV special will potentially be completed by the end of the summer. He was speaking at the NAB Show Executive Leadership Summit, produced in partnership with the Variety Streaming Room. The 'Friends' reunion was originally scheduled to be available on WarnerMedia's streaming service HBO Max when it launched later this month on May 27th.
"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," Greenblatt said.
"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."
Greenblatt did say that if current stay-at-home conditions continue, that the reunion "may go more to a virtual route."
The 'Too Hot to Handle' reunion special on Netflix recently made a similar move.
Greenblatt is staying positive that it won't come to that:
"But 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."
It is set to film on Stage 24, the original 'Friends' soundstage on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank.