Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

HBO Max is really planning a Friends reunion special

Illustration for article titled HBO Max is really planning a Friends reunion special
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The Friends friends love to hang out these days, but it’s typically only on Instagram and not in an actual revival series where its easier for all of the characters to ignore their children now that they’re older, nobody talks about Joey’s adventures in Los Angeles, and Ross has been married a half-dozen more times since the end of the original series (a couple to Rachel, maybe one to Phoebe, and then a few to some celebrity cameos). Now, though, it looks like the Friends friends might be getting back together for something more exciting than a viral Instagram post… but it’s still probably not going to be an actual Gilmore Girls/Veronica Mars/Twin Peaks-style revival.


According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO Max is currently “in talks” with the core cast of Friends and the show’s creators to put together some kind of “unscripted reunion special” on the streaming service. The full cast is apparently on board (which was not the case the last time there was a reunion like this, back in 2016 for a celebration of director/producer James Burrows on NBC), but THR stresses that “a deal is far from done.” Essentially, HBO Max has done the bare minimum of work, which is getting everyone to agree that they would hypothetically do this, and now it has to actually put in the effort to make it happen—including finding the money to pay for this and planning out a schedule for when none of the Friends have better stuff going on.

Finding the money for Friends hasn’t been an issue for HBO Max so far, since it is already reportedly paying $425 million to steal the series away from Netflix for five years, and putting together a Friends reunion has apparently been a major project for WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt (WarnerMedia owns HBO Max). Again, though, the cast has maintained for a long time that they wouldn’t want to do a scripted revival, so it remains to be seen what sort of shape this reunion will take—no offense to the Friends, but, say, recreating one of the sets and having them hang out and talk about their Friends memories wouldn’t be especially exciting. Still, people love Friends, and if there’s an exclusive Friends thing that you can only get on HBO Max, that’ll sound pretty sweet to WarnerMedia no matter what it ends up being.