After a very long wait, Friends: The Reunion has just premiered on HBO Max, but don’t expect this to mean that a series revival or movie adaptation is on the way. The new special features all six main cast members – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer – getting back together again to reminisce about the series. Several special guests also appear on the program as well.
The Friends actors do sort-of recreate the famous trivia game scene from the series, but is there a chance they’ll soon be back in character for a genuine revival, whether that be through another spinoff or even a reunion movie? Any fans wanting that to happen shouldn’t be holding their breath. In a new interview with THR, series creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, along with executive producer and director Kevin Bright completely shut down the idea. Here’s what Bright said when asked if there would ever be a new spinoff or revival of any kind.
“No, because it won’t be as good. These six actors, the time, the place, everything was special. We don’t want to look at the show as a brand that you just spin it off into another generation. If we were going to do it, we want to do something maybe with the six characters, but we don’t want to do that because as Crane says, ‘We’d have to undo everything we did to make another show happen.’ And we’re not interested in doing it. It was a perfect ending; don’t touch it. “
One idea some fans have asked to see is a reunion movie, providing an update on where all of the characters are in their lives decades later. To that, Bright iterates that the TV series was driven by the youth of the characters at the time, and revisiting them all this time later would probably be more depressing than funny.
“Maybe someday somebody will come up with a great idea and present to us how they envision making a movie. But doing the Friends movie with this cast – older Friends– it’s not the same show. All the energy from the show wasn’t just the chemistry of the actors, but it was driven by youth. That, ‘What’s my job? Who am I going to be in love with? What am I going to do for the rest of my life?’ That’s what drove the show. Imagining divorce issues and other things? None of it is appealing. If you’re going to do a truthful version of what would have happened to them, they can’t all still be married and together.”
Kauffman, meanwhile, is also rather adamant that Friends will never get any kind of sequel series or reboot of any kind.
“Absolutely not. Nope. No. There’s no reason to. It’s never going to be the six of them, it’s a whole different show and it’s not a show I’m particularly interested in doing. And if it’s not fantastic, or as good as Friends, it’s going to just p*ss people off.”
Making the decision unanimous is Crane, who backs up Bright and Kauffmann with his own explanation for why it’s not even worth the bother.
“No, because inevitably, if you do something like that, you’re competing with the original show and why do that? We were so blessed. We managed to get lightning in a bottle with the perfect cast and it all came together so well. The odds of that happening again are really slim. It’s like if you won the lottery, stop buying tickets.”
Friends: The Reunion is now streaming on HBO Max. Episodes of the classic series are also available to watch on the streamer. You can read the full interview with the Friends creators at The Hollywood Reporter.