Celebrities attend 46th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute honoring George Clooney at Dolby Theatre. Featuring: Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston. Los Angeles, California, United States. 07 Jun 2018. Brian To/WENN.com
The eagerly-anticipated Friends reunion special could take place virtually over video conference app Zoom, according to new reports. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer had all been due to make their sitcom comeback on the HBO Max show, which had been scheduled to launch at the same time as the new streaming service, where subscribers will be able to find all of the classic comedy’s original episodes. However, Hollywood’s shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has derailed production, officials have confirmed to Deadline.com. While the new premiere date has yet to be revealed, reports have suggested that Courteney and reunion director Ben Winston have captured footage through Zoom. The footage turned into an additional special episode to tide fans over until pandemic restrictions are lifted. “As soon as filming was canceled, everyone started panicking as it took so long to get their schedules to align, there was a deep fear it may take a year or even longer to get them all back together again,” a source told Britain’s The Sun newspaper. “Courtney immediately set up a Zoom meeting for them, and they all logged on to discuss ideas – brain-storming and bringing in the producers for a session which they called a mock rehearsal and chatted for almost two hours,” they said. “Their Zoom sessions have been brilliant fun, and there’s some hilarious material on there which they hope can be aired as either a series of teasers or even a stand-alone special.” LeBlanc previously suggested the gang had managed to regroup and film the one-off special before the COVID-19 pandemic, telling The Kelly Clarkson Show: “(It was) the six of us together, talking about the good old days.” Friends aired for 10 seasons, concluding its decade-long run in 2004.