Friends reunion to begin filming next week after COVID-19 delays

The highly-anticipated Friends reunion will begin filming next week after months of COVID-19 delays, according to David Schwimmer. 

The actor, who played Ross on the original sitcom, confirmed on Friday he and his five co-stars will be heading over to the original Friends soundstage at Warner Bros in Los Angeles next week.

It will be the first time the six stars - Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry - have appeared on screen together since the 10-season long series ended in 2004. 

Schwimmer, 54, revealed the exciting news in an interview on The Graham Norton Show, the clip not yet available to watch in New Zealand. 

According to E-News, he told Norton he would be jumping on a plane to LA right after the interview. 

"We're going to be shooting the Friends reunion next week, so I'm hopping on a plane this afternoon or the evening and yeah, I'm gonna see everyone next week for the first time in many years."

He also confirmed the reunion special would not be scripted and the actors won't be in character. 

"There's nothing scripted. We're not in character. We're all ourselves, the real people.

"I'll be myself. I'll be David." 

Schwimmer added there is one part he doesn't want to give away, where the actors will all "read something". 

HBO Max, the US streaming platform behind the reunion, confirmed the original stars would star in an unscripted interview-style special back in February 2020. But as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold a few weeks later, filming was delayed. 

"Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together - we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library," Kevin Reilly, former chief content officer at HBO Max, said at the time of the announcement.  

The Hollywood Reporter reports the cast, who all negotiated the contract together, will earn more than double their former per-episode fee for the reunion and be paid between US$2.5 million and $3 million.

There's no word yet on where Kiwi fans will be able to watch the special.