Even before it was official that a Friends reunion show was in the works, tabloids have reported on rumors surrounding the beloved ’90s sitcom’s revival. With bigger than life stars like Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc, it was inevitable that tabloids would take advantage of readers’ interest in the subject. Gossip Cop collected all the most outrageous claims and rumors and compiled them together.
The Friends cast demanded more money?
In June 2019, Heat reported that the Friends stars were demanding to be paid $20 million each for a reunion. The outlet claimed Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and the rest were in secret talks with Warner Bros., but that their exorbitant payment expectations killed off any hope of a reunion. A source told the publication, “Despite what they say publicly, there have been negotiations. The problem is they’re demanding enormous fees.”
The supposed source added, “They already make a lot from the reruns, plus they got a huge bonus last year from Netflix. But they’re still not budging until they get $20 million each — something that reflects how big the project would be.” Gossip Cop sensed something off about this story, so we contacted our own sources who were close to the situation, who informed us that they were unaware of any negotiations happening surrounding the reunion. We also have further insight now, since it was announced that HBO Max was the studio behind the reunion. Just further proof that this outlet had no clue what they were writing about.
Matthew Perry threatened the reunion?
After news of the reunion actually happening broke a few months later, more rumors were published in the pages of tabloids. Perry was the subject of the newest round of gossip. In November, NW claimed Matthew Perry was putting the Friends reunion in jeopardy by sabotaging early creative meetings. “Matthew was quick to voice his disappointment with the ideas and told the writers he was ‘unimpressed’ and ‘uninspired’ by everything he’d heard,” a so-called “source” told the publication.
When none of the other cast members backed up his opinions, the insider continued, Matthew Perry “turned on them for not supporting him and accused them of being more interested in money than giving the fans the best.” Perry, according to the tipster, then stormed out of the meeting, which left Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow “in tears.” The seemingly phony source added, “They were left devastated after the meeting that they thought would get the ball rolling ended up potentially destroying their reunion dream.” David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc, on the other hand, suggested that Perry be written off the show entirely, the source claimed.
Of course, nothing that the tabloid reported was remotely true, Gossip Cop discovered. In the first place, the unverified source made it seem as if the reunion show would be a return to the scripted sitcom format. Rather, as The Hollywood Reporter wrote when they broke the news of the reunion, the new show would be unscripted. Furthermore, People noted that the cast would not reprise their beloved characters from Friends. Matthew Perry was never in any danger of being written off the unscripted reunion.
Brad Pitt was going to join the Friends reunion?
Two tabloids reported that Brad Pitt, Aniston’s ex-husband who once guest starred on an episode of Friends, was either expected to make an appearance on the reunion or that Aniston was trying to convince him to make one. Last December, New Idea claimed that Pitt, along with George Clooney, Billy Crystal, Ben Stiller, Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis, were rumored to be making a return during the reunion.
Woman’s Day didn’t go quite as far when they claimed Aniston was trying to convince Pitt to guest star on the reunion, but their claim is equally farcical. Why would Pitt appear on the unscripted reunion since his only connections to the original show are his ex-wife and a single guest appearance? Knowing that the show is unscripted makes these particular stories all the more ridiculous. Gossip Cop also learned during the course of our investigation that Pitt is not involved in the project in any way.
Jennifer Aniston and Matt Leblanc had a steamy affair?
Finally, as is a frequent narrative in tabloids, there were reports of infighting among the castmates, which was supposedly throwing the reunion into jeopardy. New Idea published an article in March claiming that Jennifer Aniston and Matt Leblanc’s feud threatened the reunion. The outlet brought up rumors of a “steamy affair” the two had while filming Friends, though both Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc have denied those rumors repeatedly. A source also told the outlet that there was tension between the two since LeBlanc viewed Aniston as “snobby and above it all.”
Gossip Cop checked in with Matt LeBlanc’s rep, who called the article “so dumb.” As far as the rumors about an alleged romance between the two, Jennifer Aniston was famously in a relationship with Brad Pitt throughout much of her time on Friends, making a “steamy affair” unlikely.
Members of the Friends cast were no longer friends?
Woman’s Day also reported on tensions on the set, claiming that the Friends reunion was in crisis because the castmates couldn’t stop fighting. David Schwimmer was reportedly upset because he’d assumed he’d be directing and “stormed out of a meeting after he found out he wasn’t even going to be a co-director.” Matthew Perry, a source said, was unhappy with the script and found the plot “desperate” and “tacky.”
Jennifer Aniston was allegedly furious that her male co-stars had gone behind her back and negotiated better deals, which left her feeling betrayed. Courteney Cox was apparently demanding that the shooting schedule change so she could go on a vacation with her boyfriend, Johnny McDaid. Lisa Kudrow was the only voice of reason, claimed a supposed insider. She’d “called a meeting at her home in a bid to dissolve all the tensions before everything falls apart.”
None of it was true, Gossip Cop found. The unscripted reunion show has no plot for Matthew Perry to find fault in. We also reached out to David Schwimmer’s rep, who assured us the actor is not demanding to direct. We contacted Jennifer Aniston’s rep as well, who told us the male stars did not negotiate a better deal and said every detail of the story is “completely false.” According to Variety, each of the six castmates will make the same $2.5 million.
With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the Friends reunion is truly in crisis, but not because of in-fighting among the cast. Rather, like many other productions, it’s being delayed in order to help slow the spread of the virus. Though it’s disappointing to have to wait longer for the return of our favorite characters, it’s a better alternative than the continued spread of the deadly disease.
Shuster, Andrew. “Jennifer Aniston And ‘Friends’ Co-Stars Demanding $20 Million Each For Reunion?” Gossip Cop, 18 June 2019.
Nahas, Aili. “Everything We Know About the Possible Friends Reunion: ‘It Has to Be the Right Treatment’.” People, 20 Nov. 2019.
Scott, Hugh. “Matthew Perry Putting ‘Friends’ Reunion In Jeopardy?” Gossip Cop, 26 Nov. 2019.
Goldberg, Leslie. “‘Friends’ Reunion Special in the Works at HBO Max.” 12 Nov. 2019.
Shuster, Andrew. “Brad Pitt To Guest Star On ‘Friends’ Reunion With Jennifer Aniston?” Gossip Cop, 21 Dec. 2019.
Shuster, Andrew. “Jennifer Aniston Trying To Convince Brad Pitt To Appear On ‘Friends’ Reunion?” Gossip Cop, 6 Mar. 2020.
Broman, Laura. “Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc Feud Putting ‘Friends’ Reunion In Jeopardy?” Gossip Cop, 2 Mar. 2020.
Shuster, Andrew. “‘Friends’ Reunion In Crisis Because The Cast Can’t Stop Fighting?” Gossip Cop, 20 Mar. 2020.
Low, Elaine. “‘Friends’ Cast to Reunite for Exclusive HBO Max Special.” Variety, 21 Feb. 2020.
Morton, Brianna. “‘The Bachelorette’, ‘Stranger Things’, And More Films And TV Shows Delayed By Coronavirus.” Gossip Cop, 16 Mar. 2020.
Goldberg, Lesley. “‘Friends’ Reunion Special Delayed at HBO Max.” The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Mar. 2020.