Streamer HBO Max has announced that the long-awaited “Friends” reunion special will drop on its platform on May 27.
All six original cast members — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — are coming back for the special, titled “Friends: The Reunion”, PTI reported Los Angeles.
The streamer on Thursday released a teaser trailer (https://youtu.be/MedRN92V6lE) for the special that showed the core cast walking in a distance with their back towards the camera. An acoustic version of the show’s signature theme plays in the background.
“Friends: The Reunion” will debut on the one-year anniversary of the launch of HBO Max and exactly one year after it was originally supposed to air, the streamer said in a statement.
However, the special was delayed multiple times due to the production shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally set to film in February 2020 but was only able to begin filming in April this year.
Described as a “real-life unscripted celebration of the beloved show”, the unscripted special will see Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry and Schwimmer return to the iconic comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros Studio lot in Burbank.
It will feature a variety of special guests, including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai.
Ben Winston directed the special and executive produced along with “Friends” executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane.
“Friends: The Reunion” comes from Warner Bros Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, Fulwell 73 Productions and Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions.
Variety magazine reports that unnamed sources close to the project revealed that each of the actors would receive at least $ 2.5 million for participating in the special show.
“Friends”premiered in September 1994 and was a phenomenon during its decade-long run.
It later went on to find cult status among new audiences through TV reruns and streamers.
In India, throughout the pandemic and 2020, “Friends” featured in the Top 10 trending shows on Netflix — and continues to do so now also, occasionally exiting the Top 10 list to make a return, signaling its continued popularity amongst viewers cutting across age. Even on Friday, the show was trending at No. 5 in India, according to Netflix.