Friends reunion special release date | Cast, latest news and everything you need to know

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry are all reuniting for a documentary special.

Friends cast

It’s finally here! The long-awaited Friends reunion special now has an air date and a teaser trailer, and it’s not long before we can watch the episode in full.

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Fans will finally get to see Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry together again – in Monica’s apartment no less.

For peak nostalgia, the reunion will take place at the iconic water fountain from the opening as well as the set of Monica’s apartment, recreated on the original stage. Now we just need the catchy theme tune…

We’re still not exactly sure what the special will look like, although we do know that it will be unscripted and will feature the actors as themselves rather than their characters.

And Schwimmer recently claimed that the show would have, “funny surprise bits throughout” which has led to even more excitement about the special.

Read on for everything we know about HBO’s Friends reunion.

Will there be a Friends reunion show?

Yes! It’s hard to believe it after years of false rumours and firm denials, but the Friends cast are getting back together for one last time in the set that housed the sitcom for its decade-long run.

Murmurs of a special return began emerging in early February 2020, as Deadline reported the six main stars had been locked in “tough negotiations” over the project.

When is the Friends reunion released?

Friends cast
Warner Bros

The reunion, which crucially is an unscripted documentary rather than another episode of the sitcom, now has an air date.

American viewers can watch Friends: The Reunion on Thursday 27th May on HBO Max. British viewers may have to wait a little longer, but UK channels will doubtless be bidding for the rights to air this guaranteed ratings winner.

The reunion was originally scheduled to land on HBO Max back in May 2020, but HBO was forced to delay filming on the unscripted Friends special due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

WarnerMedia Entertainment head Bob Greenblatt told Variety that he wanted the event to be watched by a live audience and not filmed via webcam.

“We do think there’s a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together,” he said. “We didn’t want to just suddenly do it on a web call with six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedrooms.”

It looks like he will only get half his wish. In June, co-creator Marta Kaufmann told The Wrap the show could film in the iconic studio lot in August, assuming that there hasn’t been a second spike.

David Schwimmer (Ross) then told Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show that filming was due to happen in August, saying: “It’s supposed to happen maybe in August, the middle of August.” However, he added, “Honestly we’re going to wait and see another week or two if we all determine it’s really safe enough to do. And if not, then we’ll wait until it’s safe.”

A date of 17th August had been reported. However, in early August, it was announced that filming had again been postponed.

Jennifer Aniston told Deadline: “Unfortunately it’s very sad that we had to move it again,” adding: “This is not a safe time. Period. That’s the bottom line. It’s not a safe time to do it.”

But, on a more positive note, she added: “It’s going to be super. You know what? This has also given us more time to make it even more exciting and more fun than it would have been. So I choose to see it as the glass is half-full that it got postponed. Look, we’re not going anywhere. You’re never going to get rid of Friends, sorry. You’re suck with us for life guys.”

Recent reports suggest that strict guidelines were to be enforced at the reunion, meaning all of the stars would be tested for COVID-19 and asked to isolate until the results come back.

It’s finally happened! Nearly a year after originally planned, the cast of Friends have reunited and filming has been completed after a three-day shoot.

Hopes were raised after David Schwimmer said the special was due to shoot “next week” while appearing on The Graham Norton Show in early April 2021.

This was backed up by Matthew Perry later posting and quickly deleting a picture of him on a makeup chair on Instagram, with a caption that hinted he was preparing to film the reunion.

The picture’s caption said: “Seconds before eating a makeup brush. Not to mention reuniting with my Friends.”

Which cast members are returning for the Friends reunion?

It’s The One Where… All the Friends Return. Back in February, HBO Max confirmed that the ‘friends’ – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – will all reunite for the documentary special.

There will also be LOTS of celebrities popping in to celebrate the reunion including David Beckham, Mindy Kaling, James Corden, BTS, Justin Bieber, Kit Harington, Cindy Crawford, Tom Selleck (who played Monica’s pre-Chandler love interest Richard) and Reese Witherspoon (who played Rachel’s sister, Jill Green).

Is there a trailer for the Friends reunion?

Yes, it’s very short and you don’t even see the faces of the cast, but we’re excited all the same.

How much are the Friends cast getting paid for reunion?

It was previously reported that the six stars will each pocket a hefty sum of over $3 million for the appearance, according to Deadline.

Speaking on Friday 21st February 2020, HBO Max boss Kevin Reilly said: “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 [for US viewers].

“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.”

What will the Friends reunion be about?

The special, which will be available to watch on premium subscription service HBO Max, will be an unscripted reunion featuring all six ‘friends’, with the show’s original creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane also being involved.

Being a documentary special, we will not see the cast reprise their beloved roles, but instead chat about stories from behind the scenes.

However, while appearing on The Graham Norton Show David Schwimmer said: “We are all ourselves, although there is one section of it that I don’t want to give away, but we all read something.” Interesting…

Courteney Cox as Monica in Friends

However, it won’t just be the stars that Friends fans find familiar – Monica’s iconic apartment will be recreated on the same Warner Bros. Studios stage used during filming of the original series, while the famous Warner Bros. Ranch water fountain seen in the opening credits will also feature during the reunion.

The show’s original production designer Greg Grande teased the return of Monica’s famously spacious home on Instagram, saying: “Sssh. somethings happening deja vu…coming alive once again #friends #monicasapt #friendsreunion.”

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Friends is currently available to watch on Netflix for UK subscribers – check out our guides to the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.