'Friends' reunion 'delayed due to coronavirus'

Sources confirmed to 'Variety' that the special has been delayed, and shooting has been pushed back to May at the earliest.

'Friends' cast. Picture: Friends.tv/Facebook

LONDON - The Friends reunion special has been delayed due to coronavirus.

Filming on the HBO Max show, which is to see the sitcom's stars Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc reunite on the programme's soundstage for an unscripted reunion, was due to start filming next month.

Sources confirmed to _Variety _that the special has been delayed, and shooting has been pushed back to May at the earliest.

It comes as filming on countless TV shows and movies has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in nearly 9,000 deaths worldwide.

Cox, Schwimmer, Aniston, Kudrow and Perry all took to social media last month to confirm the sitcom is getting a long-awaited reunion, 16 years after the final episode aired in 2004.

Each actor also posted the same caption, which simply stated "it's happening" and tagged their co-stars, and HBO Max.

The original series ran for a decade from 1994 to 2004 and aired over 200 episodes.

The _Friends _cast have been asked about the possibility of a reunion for several years, and some have even dismissed the idea completely in that time.

Schwimmer - who plays Ross Geller - recently said he didn't think a revival of the show would be possible.

He said: "I just don't think it's possible, given everyone's different career trajectories. I think everyone feels the same, 'Why mess with what felt like the right way to end the series?' I don't want to do anything for the money. It would have to make sense creatively and nothing I've heard so far presented to us makes sense. Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends."

HBO Max bosses insisted there was interest all round for a reunion.

Chief content officer Kevin Reilly said: "There's interest all the way around, and yet we can't seem to quite get that interest all aligned to push the button on it, so today, unfortunately, it's still a maybe."

_Friends _centred around the lives of six pals living in New York City, comprised of siblings Ross and Monica Geller (Cox), Chandler Bing (Perry), Joey Tribbiani (LeBlanc), Rachel Green (Aniston), and Phoebe Buffay (Kudrow).