(Update: The event, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 21, has been delayed by technical difficulties, organizers said.)
Brad Pitt has joined an A-list cast that includes his ex Jennifer Aniston, Sean Penn, Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey and Julia Roberts to do a table read of the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High to raise money for COVID-19 relief.
The team includes five Oscar-winning actors, as well as Oscar-winning screenwriter Cameron Crowe, who famously went undercover in a real high school to write the book that became the basis for Amy Heckerling’s 1982 film. The comedy was notable for its blunt depictions of high school sex and abortion.
Rounding out the cast are Dane Cook, who is presenting the event, Jimmy Kimmel, Henry Golding and Shia LaBeouf. Heckerling and Crowe will introduce the table read.
The event was previously scheduled for Thursday, but was moved to Friday to avoid conflicting with the Democratic National Convention. It was announced last week to coincide with the 38th anniversary of the release of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but gained renewed attention because of the news of a Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston reunion, albeit online.
The gathering will actually involves several Brad Pitt reunions: Pitt and Roberts both appeared in the Ocean’s 11 films, Pitt and Penn were both in Terence Malick’s Tree of Life, and Pitt and Freeman starred together in Seven.
For some reason, none of those reunions have gained as much interest from the celebrity press as the prospect of seeing Pitt and Aniston together.
Penn will not reprise his role as stoner/surfer/pizza aficionado Jeff Spicoli, a part that helped make him a star. But he said in a statement: “I’m very confident in the new guy.”
Who is the new guy? Fans will have to tune in to the event, Feelin’ A-Live. It will benefit the emergency relief nonprofit CORE, a humanitarian organization co-founded by Sean Penn and CEO Ann Lee, to help fight COVID-19; and the REFORM Alliance, which aims to pass laws to reform the criminal justice system and protect prisoners from COVID-19.
“Upon realizing Feelin’ A-Live was programmed opposite the DNC’s final night, we felt it was best to let the convention have its own evening, and then we’ll have ours,” Cook said. “Luckily, we were able to shift around some schedules—and add some stellar new cast members—so we’re thrilled to now get to kick off your weekend with a Friday night broadcast.”
“On behalf of our dedicated team at CORE, I’m so appreciative of the support Dane has given and continues to give to our work,” Penn said in a statement last week. “I’m always game for a giggle. So, to gather remotely for a night of laughs with so many talented folks while providing CORE with much-needed resources to continue our vital work, then consider us fully onboard to play!”
The live virtual Fast Times at Ridgemont High reading will take place on Friday, August 21 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Facebook Live and TikTok. It will also stream via Live X Live. All the livestreams will feature a “Donate” button onscreen with all proceeds benefiting CORE and REFORM Alliance. The hashtag is #FastTimesLive.