"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." (Read more Friends stories.)