A special reunion episode of the hit sitcom “Friends” will begin filming this week after over a year of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The show will feature the entire original cast — Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc — who will gather on the original soundstage, Stage 24 at the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, Los Angeles.
Schwimmer revealed Friday in an interview with the BBC’s “Graham Norton Show” that the crew would gather for filming this week.
Confirming that the show will be unscripted and that the cast will appear as their real selves rather than in character, Schwimmer teased that “there is one section of it that I don’t want to give away, but we all read something.”
Filming for the special was supposed to have started in March last year with the aim of including it as part of the launch of HBO Max.
However, the virus outbreak upset the plans and then WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman Bib Greenblatt said producers see the “value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together,” while ruling out having the audience participate via video calls instead.
It was then rescheduled for the end of the summer but again was delayed.
Sources told Variety last year that each of the actors will receive $2.5 million for the special. WarnerMedia has reportedly paid over $400 million to purchase the rights for the show, which was formerly exclusively on Netflix.
A reunion has been long-sought by fans of the NBC series, which ended its 236-episode run in 2004 after winning six Emmy awards. HBO Max will also carry every episode of the sitcom, which has proved enduringly popular, including with young audiences who discovered the show when it was available on Netflix.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.