One Direction Is Actually Connected to ‘Friends: The Reunion’ in This 1 Wild Way

While One Direction hasn’t put out any new material since the band’s fifth album Made in the A.M. in 2015, the group actually has something to do with Friends: The Reunion. The episode, which came out on May 27, 2021, includes one person who was a pretty big influence on One Direction’s visual style.

One Direction members at the 'This Is Us' movie premiere
One Direction’s Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, and Liam Payne | Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

Where to watch the ‘Friends: The Reunion’ and the length of the episode

Friends: The Reunion is available to watch on HBO Max. The special episode is on the same streaming platform as all 10 seasons of the original NBC sitcom.

While some people might have wanted a longer show, the total length of it was an hour and 45 minutes. There are some extra tidbits that didn’t make it into the final episode — but director Ben Winston shared that most of the content he wanted made it into the final cut.

“Everything I wanted to put in the show, I put in the show,” Winston told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s 1:45, that’s long enough. There are a few fan stories that I couldn’t fit in. This really was the Winston Cut. There was nothing that I was asked to remove from anybody. They all were very happy with this cut and let me make the film I wanted to make.”

Ben Winston directed ‘Friends: The Reunion’ episode and pitched the show in the first place

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Winston is actually the main reason that Friends: The Reunion happened. The creative explained his process to THR and revealed that he pitched the show’s six stars directly in August and September 2019.

“I went in with a deck that said this is what this show is going to be,” he described. “Page one featured an interview in front of an audience. Page two was a documentary about six people coming back together after they haven’t seen each other for 17 years, and what that feels like when you go back to the exact space. The next page was people from all over the globe saying how Friends affected their life.”

Ben Winston directed and produced One Direction movies and music videos long before ‘Friends: The Reunion’

Long before Friends: The Reunion came out, Winston worked with another super-successful group of people: One Direction. The boy band worked with Winston on many of their projects, using him as a director and producer, per IMDb.

Winston directed: One Direction: A Year in the Making (2011); Best Song Ever (2013); Story of My Life (2013); Midnight Memories (2014); Night Changes (2014); and History (2016). He produced: One Direction: This Is Us, a 2013 documentary following the band on tour; One Direction: Where We Are — The Concert Film (2014); and One Direction: The London Sessions (2015).

He also serves as an executive producer on The Late Late Show with James Corden, where One Direction frequently visited as guests. The boys continued to appear on the show in their solo careers as well.