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Friends reunion special will film in August, says co-creator Marta Kauffman

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 19/06/2020 Katie Rosseinsky
David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow standing in front of a cake: Reunion: All six stars will appear in the special episode (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard Reunion: All six stars will appear in the special episode (Getty Images)

The Friends reunion special is set to film in August after production was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, its co-creator has revealed.

The unscripted reunion episode, which is expected to take the form of a chat show, will see Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry reunite on screen for the first time since Central Perk closed its doors in 2004.

Initially slated to air on streaming service HBO Max on May 27, filming in early spring was derailed due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, which has brought filming to a halt in the US and the UK.

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Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman has now revealed that production is slated to take place later this summer on the show’s original soundstage at the Warner Bros lot in Burbank, California - on the condition that there is no “second wave” of Covid-19.

“We are hoping to be able to shoot in August, if all is well and there is no early second wave and the studio is open,” she told The Wrap.

FRIENDS -- Pictured: (clockwise from bottom left) Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing  -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) © Getty FRIENDS -- Pictured: (clockwise from bottom left) Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) “If everything is in place and we understand all the protocols and we can still make a good show, we’ll be shooting it some time, mid-to-late August.”

Friends executive producer Kevin Bright previously revealed that the team were waiting to receive the green light to film the special in front of an audience, as they “can’t not share it after all this time.”

“We’re just waiting,” he told Maria Menounos’s Better Together Podcast. “We’re waiting for a window. We feel the reunion needs to be done in front of an audience. We can’t not share it after all this time.”

FRIENDS -- Pictured: (top-bottom) David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in 'Friends', circa 1995.  (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) © Getty FRIENDS -- Pictured: (top-bottom) David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in 'Friends', circa 1995. (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) He added that “tentatively speaking,” producers are hoping that “the special will be completed by Thanksgiving and that the show will be seen on HBO Max at that time.”

Bright promised the the episode will be “a reunion of the cast getting nostalgic about the show” and that it may feature never-before-seen footage such as alternative takes of memorable scenes, as “we have every piece of footage we ever shot on Friends.”

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