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18 July 2024

Friends cast to be tested for coronavirus before filming reunion

By Bang

The cast of 'Friends' will be tested for coronavirus before the reunion special takes place in August.

Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer are all set to reunite next month when they film HBO Max's one-off reunion special of the hit sitcom, in which they all starred as a group of friends living in New York City.

But amid the coronavirus pandemic, the stars - who will reminisce on their time on the show in a roundtable style special - will have to undergo testing and quarantine measures before being allowed on set, to make sure they're not carrying the virus.

A source told The Sunday Mirror's Watts the Goss column: "Everyone is really hoping production and filming can resume next month.

"It's full steam ahead right now, but there are going to be very strict guidelines and that includes no live audiences. That's a big blow because bosses were desperate to create an authentic atmosphere. "All of the cast will be tested for Covid-19, and asked to quarantine in isolation after they've had the tests."

The news comes after Martha Kauffman, who co-created 'Friends', said the crew were hoping to film in August.

She said: "We are hoping to be able to shoot in August, if all is well and there is no early second wave and the studio is open. If everything is in place and we understand all the protocols and we can still make a good show, we'll be shooting it some time, mid-to-late August."

However, contrary to the latest reports, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman, Bob Greenblatt, previously insisted a 'Friends' reunion won't take place until a studio audience can be present for its taping.

Bob shared: "At first we thought, shows will be delayed for a month or two at the most, and now it seems like it's going to be far longer than that. We're holding out for being able to get this special done hopefully by the end of the summer, if the stars align and hopefully we can get back into production. We do think there's a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together and we didn't want to just suddenly do it on a web call with, you know, six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedroom ... But at the moment, we're trying to look to the future and get this thing done in a more conventional way, and I think it's worth waiting for. We would have loved to have had it on [HBO Max on] day one, but at the same time, if we can get it launched in the fall, I think it'll be something that we can have the audience really looking forward to as well."