Sources told Variety the six stars will receive at least $US2.5 million ($A3.8 million) apiece for participating in the special.
The reunion has been hotly anticipated, with speculation about the TV special for yet-to-be-launched TV platform HBO Max swirling since last year, just months after the WarnerMedia-created SVOD platform nabbed the streaming rights to the show from Netflix in a deal with Warner Bros. Television.
All 10 seasons of the comedy left Netflix at the end of 2019, meaning that Friends has not been available to stream for US audiences this calendar year. It airs in Australia on streaming network Stan, which is owned by Nine, the publisher of this masthead.
Though the sitcom aired its series finale over 15 years ago, third-party market researchers have said Friends was one of Netflix’s most-watched shows.
“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,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV, in a statement.
“I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It 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.”
Ben Winston will direct the special and executive produce alongside Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane.