Friends reunion to air May 27 with celeb guests BTS, Bieber

Los Angeles – “The One Where They Get Back Together” is finally upon us – and the cast of Friends will be joined by famous fans from pop star Justin Bieber to soccer legend David Beckham, streaming platform HBO Max announced Thursday.

The long-delayed and much-hyped reunion, billed as an “unscripted celebration” of the US smash hit television sitcom, will debut on May 27.

A brief trailer for Friends: The Reunion showed the six cast members walking slowly away from the camera with their arms linked together, while the iconic I’ll Be There For You theme song plays gently in the background.

Friends – starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – remains wildly popular even among viewers too young to remember its original run, which ended in 2004.

Parent company WarnerMedia had hoped the reunion would be ready in time to launch its Netflix rival HBO Max platform last May, before the coronavirus pandemic scuppered production.

It will now arrive on screen exactly one year after the streamer’s launch, with its stars reportedly earning US$2.5 million (S$3.3m) each for taking part.

In addition to the original cast, the reunion will feature guests including Lady Gaga, BTS, Cindy Crawford and Cara Delevingne.

Tom Selleck – who appeared in 10 episodes as a love interest of Monica (Cox) – will take part, as will Reese Witherspoon, who played the sister of Rachel (Aniston).

News of the broadcast date quickly became the top trending item worldwide on Twitter.

“The one with us finally getting together,” quipped Kudrow on Instagram.

Cox said she felt “blessed to have reunited with my Friends... and it was better than ever.”

The reunion was filmed at Stage 24 on the Warner Bros Studio lot near Los Angeles, which also served as the original soundstage for the sitcom about a group of close-knit New York friends navigating adulthood.

A remote or virtual reunion was never considered due to the significance of the original soundstage, producers have said. - AFP/REUTERS