Friends reunion special delayed, will not be ready for HBO Max launch in May
WarnerMedia's upcoming streaming service announced Friday that the highly-anticipated unscripted Friends reunion will not be available immediately when the platform debuts in May. The special — which will reunite all six original Friends stars on screen for the first time — had been scheduled to film in late March but, like most other Hollywood projects currently in the works, had its production delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On the plus side, all 236 episodes of the original series will be available on HBO Max's launch day, the exact date of which has yet to be announced.
When it does finally film, the reunion — which, to be clear, is not a new episode of the series — will bring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer back together on the iconic show's original sets to reminisce, share rare behind-the-scenes footage, and unveil more surprises.
“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,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TBS, TNT, and truTV, previously said 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 (The Late Late Show With James Corden) will direct the special and will executive produce along with Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. All of the six core cast will also executive produce the special.