Friends' 25th anniversary just passed a few months ago and now a reunion special is in the works. HBO Max will host the special as a part of their launch according to a report from Deadline. This special is reported to cost about $20 million. The road here was long, but HBO finally got one of the shows that everyone seems to care about on their streaming platform. Almost every one of these entrants into the streaming wars seems to have at least one property that makes a subscription a must-have for a section of consumers. For HBO Max, one of the main attractions is going to be the beloved 1990s sitcom. That should help the service get off to a good start along with the other exclusives that Warner Bros. could have up their sleeves.
Previous reports indicated that the unscripted special would try to reunite the show's principal cast, Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and David Schwimmer (Ross). Series creators David Crane and Mara Kauffman would also be in tow for the big special. This, of course, presents a huge change for the show after it found a second life on Netflix. After that, it became clear that as these services popped up, there would be a bidding war for an old sitcom. HBO Max won out and now the special is headed for a release.
The prospect of reunion has been proposed before and Jennifer Aniston thought it would be fun. "We would love for there to be something, but we don't know what that something is," she said in an interview last year. "So we're just trying. We're working on something." Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, laid out the mission statement for the platform like this:
"HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO's world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is 'Friends,'" he explained. "Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries — Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) — and two of the most experienced digital experts — Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell — I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world's best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it."