Stars of 'Friends' to film reunion special in March, Matthew Perry reveals

The long-anticipated one-off special was originally supposed to air in May 2020

FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay  (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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The long-delayed Friends reunion special is expected to shoot in March, according to star Matthew Perry, a year after plans to get the cast back together were wrecked because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Friends reunion being rescheduled for the beginning of March. Looks like we have a busy year coming up. And that's the way I like it!" the actor, who plays Chandler Bing in the hit sitcom, tweeted on Thursday, November 12.

The one-off unscripted special was supposed to launch the HBO Max streaming service this May, but plans to film it have been repeatedly delayed by the pandemic that shut down production in Hollywood in mid-March.

A source close to the production said on Thursday that plans were still being finalised but that the first part of 2021 was the target date for the taping.

Friends, also starring Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc as twenty-somethings living in New York City, ended in 2004 after 10 years but it remains one of the most popular TV shows in reruns.

HBO Max said earlier this year it hoped to film the reunion in the studio with an audience on set.

Hollywood movies and television shows have slowly resumed production under complex safety guidelines that include social distancing, frequent testing for cast and crews, and Covid-19 advisers on sets.

Seen on television from 1994 to 2004, Friends won dozens of awards and garnered global celebrity for its main stars. Each of the lead actors is expected to receive $2.5 million for taking part in the special, it has been reported.

Unveiling the special in February, Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max, said the show about a close-knit group of friends living in New York City had captivated "viewers generation after generation".

"It taps into an era when friends, and audiences, gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans," he said.

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