Friends fans are doin’ fine, especially with HBO’s confirmation that the highly anticipated reunion special is still slated for a May release. The cast of the hit 90’s sitcom are still set to reunite for an unscripted reunion despite filming delays amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The special was slated to begin filming this Monday, however, coronavirus concerns have led to pushing production until May. Although an exact new filming date has not been determined, HBO Max, the new streaming service that will launch alongside the release of the special, has affirmed it will arrive the same month. In addition to the special, the upcoming service will also have all 236 episodes of the original series available to stream.
All six of Friends’ core cast are set to return, including Jennifer Anniston (Rachel Green), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani), David Schwimmer (Ross Geller), Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing), and Courtney Cox (Monica Geller). The one-off special will be unscripted, with Ben Winston (The Late Late Show With James Corden) set to direct. He will additionally executive produce alongside former Friends EPs Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. The six core cast members will also serve as executive producers for the special.
Kevin Reilly, chief content officer for HBO, expressed his excitement over the new streaming service’s plans for the special, joking in a previous statement, “Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together.” A longtime fan of the series, the CCO went on to affirm he “delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation,” stating that the series “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.”
No exact date has been confirmed as to when exactly HBO Max will launch, in addition to the untitled reunion special and Friends library. However, they are expected to arrive sometime this May.