An HBO Max representative confirmed that the special, which will see “Friends” stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer reunite, has been delayed. Work on the special is expected to resume once coronavirus-related production shutdowns end, though a specific timeframe is unavailable.
The news could be a potentially significant blow for HBO Max’s early word-of-mouth success. Hype around a potential “Friends” reunion has been building for years and the HBO Max special was one of the upcoming streaming service’s most buzzworthy original projects. It was also the only HBO Max unscripted live-action original that was confirmed to launch alongside the platform. A handful of HBO Max originals, such as Kaley Cuoco’s “The Flight Attendant” and the “Gossip Girl” reboot are expected to release sometime in 2020.
An HBO Max representative said the platform would be announcing its launch date — the streaming service will release sometime in May — and content slate soon.
The “Friends” reunion special will be directed by Ben Winston, who will also executive produce alongside “Friends” creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. The cast will also serve as executive producers. The project comes from Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television and Fulwell 73 Productions. Emma Conway and James Longman will co-executive produce. Previous reports suggested that it cost $20 million to bring the “Friends” talent back together for this reunion.
While HBO Max won’t offer its “Friends” reunion special at launch, the streaming service will still boast all episodes of the original series. The sitcom is one of HBO Max’s most notable library gets and reportedly cost WarnerMedia $425 million.
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