HBO Max stole Friends away from Netflix at the start of the new year with a $425 million dollar deal and is now close to stealing the attention of many with plans that once seemed to be impossible. HBO is close to completing a deal that will bring everyone’s favorite friends back together for a reunion special. This deal seems to be something the cast was hinting at for months. Matthew Perry, who played Chandler recently tweeted Big news coming.
Big news coming…
— matthew perry (@MatthewPerry) February 5, 2020
Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel, said ‘We would love for there to be something, but we don’t know what that something is. So we’re just trying.’ and later added, ‘We’re working on something,’
While the cast was optimistic, the creators did not share that perspective. During a Friends 25th anniversary panel, executive producer and co-creator Marta Kauffman said “We will not be doing a reunion show, we will not be doing a reboot,” and fellow co-creator and executive producer David Crane backed her up and said “We did the show we wanted to do. We got it right, and we put a bow on it.”
A ton of progress must have been made to be nearing a deal. It is reported that both sides were interested but were not aligned on several aspects of the deal. One of those aspects was financial. Wall Street Journal reported that the cast was originally offered $1 million and declined the deal. According to Deadline, the reunion will see the cast being paid around the ballpark of three to four million each for their participation in the reunion. A representative from HBO labeled Deadline’s reports as speculation.
Every streaming service needs its crown jewel. That show or shows that bring tons of eyeballs to your service. Netflix has the Office, Hulu has live sports, and nostalgia fuels Disney+, who has restored a whole generation’s childhood through classic shows. Now that HBO max is joining the streaming war in May 2020, they have their crown jewel in Friends and plans on leveraging the iconic show in order to launch their service this summer.