Fans will have to wait a little longer to see the long-awaited Friends reunion. In an interview with Variety on Monday, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt revealed that the taping for HBO Max's planned reunion has been paused indefinitely due to the coronavirus.
The reunion was initially scheduled to film on the show's original sets on Stage 24 of the Warner Bros. Studios lot before its premiere with HBO Max's launch on May 27.
"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," he added.
Though Greenblatt hopes to have an audience on set for the reunion, he said that if quarantine continues past the summer, virtual reunion options may be considered.
"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," he said. "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."
The reunion's first coronavirus-related delay was announced last month. Whenever the unscripted special does film, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will all be on hand to reminisce about the iconic sitcom and share rare behind-the-scenes footage, among other surprises.