Friends Stars Will Be Here for You—for a Hefty Payday

Figures are ranging from between $2.5M to $4M each for hourlong 'Friends' special
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2020 7:11 AM CST
Friends Stars to Get Big Payday for HBO Max Special
In this Sept. 22, 2002, file photo, the stars of "Friends—from left, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, and Matt LeBlanc—are seen at the Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file)

"It's happening." That was the joint Instagram post Friday of Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc (whose post featured a slightly different twist). The happening they speak of: what Quartz describes as "an hourlong hangout session," aka an unscripted special reuniting the cast members on the HBO Max streaming platform. And the Central Perk gang is reportedly getting big bucks for their get-together. While exact numbers haven't been released, sources tell Variety each actor will receive at least $2.5 million for participating. Sources tell the Hollywood Reporter that number falls more between the $2.5 million and $3 million range, while Deadline's sources push it up to between $3 million and $4 million each.

The special, in addition to the 200-plus episodes of Friends, will be available for streaming once HBO Max launches in May. Friends "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," HBO Max's chief content officer, Kevin Reilly, says in a statement. The special, which will be directed by Ben Winston, will be filmed on Stage 24 of the Warner Bros. lot, where the series itself was shot. So what does this mean for a possible reboot of the series? The cast and creators have said over and over that's not happening, but, as Quartz puts it, "as long as the show remains this lucrative, we have not seen the last of Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross." (More Friends stories.)

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