KEY POINTS

  • "Friends" plays a significant part in getting HBO Max off the ground
  • Jennifer Aniston and her co-stars will receive over $2 million each for the "Friends" reunion special
  • The reunion special could go virtual if the pandemic will continue to delay its production

The stars of “Friends” play a significant part in getting HBO Max off the ground.

WarnerMedia Entertainment is launching its own subscription video on demand streaming service called HBO Max later this month. It will be showing the hit shows and movies from HBO, Warner Bros. and more.

Among the series that will be featured on the platform is the hit sitcom “Friends.” The show features Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

According to Variety, one of the glamorous tasks in getting HBO Max off the ground is courting the “Friends” cast. They will not only air the previous episodes but will bring the six stars together for an unscripted special reunion.

The cast members reportedly came together for a meeting at Cox’s beach house in Malibu on Oct. 5, 2019.

Bob Greenblatt, Kevin Reilly and Sarah Aubrey, the HBO Max executives shared their vision for a global platform and their plan to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Disney. The trio asked the cast of “Friends” to do a reunion special to propel the new streaming service.

“We didn’t talk a lot of business, but we did talk about how maybe this could happen,” said Reilly, chief content officer, direct-to-consumer at WarnerMedia Entertainment.

The people behind HBO Max are hoping that it will be a multipurpose platform in the next few years for the global distribution of WarnerMedia content as well as an engine for bundling subscriptions with At&T wireless and data services.

“Everyone involved in [HBO Max] feels the pressure of doing something that is worthy of the title of the network,” Greg Berlanti said.

According to an insider, Aniston, Cox and their “Friends” co-stars will receive between $2.25 million to $2.5 million each for the project. The reunion special took time because Warner Bros. and the cast had a lengthy negotiation due to the “eight-figure gap” between the salary demanded by the cast and what the studio was willing to offer.

Meanwhile, Greenblatt gave an update about the “Friends” reunion special on Monday (May 11). According to him, if the lockdown will continue to delay the reunion, they might consider the virtual route.