UPDATE: The Friends reunion special has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, Variety reports. Production was supposed to start next week, but has been postponed to begin in May at the earliest.
The beloved sitcom — which turned 25 last fall — tragically left Netflix in January for WarnerMedia’s new platform. Its launch this spring will feature all 236 episodes of the series, as well as the unscripted reunion special.
Ben Winston will direct and executive produce, alongside Friends producers Marta Kauffman, Kevin S. Bright and David Crane. The reunion will be filmed on Stage 24 at Warner Bros. — the same soundstage where the series was filmed.
“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, HBO Max’s chief content officer, 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,” he continued. “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.”
Despite this news, the Friends cast and its creators have been adamant it wouldn’t happen for years. “One, the show is about a time in your life when your friends are your family,” Kauffman recently told Rolling Stone. “It’s not that time anymore. All we’d be doing is putting those six actors back together, but the heart of the show would be gone. Two, I don’t know what good it does us. The show is doing just fine, people love it. [A reunion] could only disappoint. ‘The One Where Everyone’s Disappointed.'”