Friends fans have been looking forward to the cast's reunion for a star-studded special on HBO Max for a while now. The special, which was originally supposed to debut on the streaming service when it launched in May 2020, is finally almost here, and it looks to be packed with all the jokes, tears, and memories fans could want. HBO Max has released a full trailer for the Friends reunion, which will be released on the streaming platform on May 27.
All six of Central Perk's finest -- Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc -- will appear in the special, back together on screen for the first time since the show ended in 2004.
Here's what we know about the Friends cast reunion.
A trailer has been released. HBO Max unveiled the full trailer for the Friends reunion on May 19. The footage shows the cast playing Friends trivia, doing script readings, and answering hot button questions. (Were Ross and Rachel really on a break?)
The Friends reunion premieres Thursday, May 27 on HBO Max. HBO Max announced the release date and shared a teaser for the reunion earlier in May.
All six stars came together for the reunion. Although the entire cast of Friends has gathered together since the show ended -- a photo of one such gathering launched Aniston's Instagram presence -- the reunion special will mark the first time that all six stars will be together in front of studio cameras since the finale. The Friends have come awfully close to a full-on reunion in the past; everyone except Perry showed up for the 2016 tribute to James Burrows, who directed the pilot and several other episodes and helped shape the show forever more. They've also routinely appeared on each other's non-Friends TV projects, and a few have even re-created Friends scenes for talk shows, like Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel Live. However, the Friends cast reunion for HBO Max will still be the first true televised reunion of the entire Apartment 20 crew.
There are a lot of guest stars. According to The Hollywood Reporter, you should expect to see many, many celebrity guest stars in addition to the original cast, and the list is truly out of control. 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 will reportedly make appearances.
It took a long time to get here. After COVID-19 shut down productions around the world for a good chunk of 2020, it was unclear for a long time when the reunion would actually take place. David Schwimmer previously said in a July interview with AP Entertainment that "the hope [was] to shoot it in August." However, the actor was quick to add that it would only happen "when it's safe," and that turned out to be not the case. WarnerMedia exec Bob Greenblatt had previously said in May that he did not want the special to be a virtual reunion because, "There's a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together, and we didn't want to just suddenly do it on a web call."
Jennifer Aniston told Deadline that the thought process behind pushing the reunion back was, "'How do we do this with live audiences?' This is not a safe time. Period. That's the bottom line. It's not a safe time to do it." She added that the postponement had "given us more time to make it even more exciting and more fun than it would have been."
The setting is familiar. The Friends reunion special was filmed on the show's original soundstage, which is Stage 24 on the Warner Bros. lot. It's unknown which props may or may not come into use for the special, but we are sure hoping to see Central Perk or Monica's place back in action for the event.
The behind-the-scenes names are the same. In addition to headlining the Friends reunion, the six stars will also serve as executive producers, alongside original series bosses Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. Ben Winston will direct the special, and Emma Conway and James Longman are also co-executive producers.
The cast is as stoked as you are. Cox started rewatching Friends just to prepare for the reunion because she's terrible at Friends trivia, and LeBlanc likened the reunion to "[getting] the band back together without the instruments." Meanwhile, Lisa Kudrow is just as antsy to get to work on it as anyone, telling ET Online, "I can only imagine. It's gonna be fun. I mean, it'll be really fun."
The Friends reunion premieres Thursday, May 27 on HBO Max.
Friends is now streaming on HBO Max.
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