Much like Harry Styles’s BFF Stevie Nicks, the fate and future of his former boy band One Direction has been embroiled in Rumours. Zayn Malik famously quit the band to go solo in 2015, and Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson put 1D on indefinite hiatus the following year. However, you may have noticed that One Direction has been trending on Twitter lately, along with keywords like “2020” and “reunion.” If recent Directioner tweets have gotten your hopes up about some sort of reunion, well, that’s the story of my life. So let’s play One Direction Detection to suss out the news from the hoaxes and determine the odds of the lads actually getting back together in any capacity.
On April 9, Payne told The Sun, “We’ve got a ten-year anniversary coming up, so we’ve all been speaking together a lot over the last few weeks, which has been really nice,” specifying that “people are forwarding emails around.” Payne also said “it’s just been a real good time for us to connect together again.” It’s worth noting that this interview was meant to promote Payne’s new single with collaborator Alesso, and Payne’s solo career has not quite taken off to the degree of Styles’s, Malik’s, or Horan’s. If we’re being the cynics that years without 1D’s earnest pop have hardened us into, then it makes sense that Payne would spark these rumors partially for the publicity and self-promotion.
After the Payne interview, One Direction fans on Twitter began to stoke the reunion conversation by sharing screengrabs of the other One Direction members’ accounts following Malik, who unfollowed them all after leaving the band. Fans took this as a sign that “the boys” were talking to each other again.
However, other fans were quick to point out in the replies to these tweets that the others had followed Malik for a while; the follows weren’t recent nor did they necessarily point to any sort of reunion. False alarm.
On an April 14 appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, Payne addressed a possible tenth-anniversary reunion when Corden asked, “Are there plans for you guys to do anything special to celebrate this milestone?” Payne answered:
“I’m not allowed to say too much, obviously, because I’d be giving it away. But we’ve been speaking a lot more at the moment. I think we’re all feeling that ten-year is a very special moment, you know. Especially at the age we are, you know — I’m only 26, and we’re ten years into this, which is amazing. I had a beautiful FaceTime with Niall, who I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. And speaking with Louis.”
No mention of Malik. We don’t think Payne is lying about FaceTiming and emailing with some of the others, but he might be quicker to address or fuel rumors than some of the others because, again, he’s pushing his Alesso collab.
Corden self-identifies as a Directioner, and back in March, he hooked Horan up to a lie detector on an episode of “Carpool Karaoke” and asked him if 1D would ever reunite, to which Horan answered “yes.” All in all, though, before we get our hopes up about an impending reunion, we’d like to see the receipts. The Twitter rumors are all smoke and no fire. We want the fire proof.
On Sunday, April 19, Payne told his collaborator Alesso in an Instagram Live that One Direction has “been trying to organize the first, like, group FaceTime at the moment.” OG 1D completists shouldn’t get too excited, though, because Payne then joked to Alesso, “Maybe you can come fill in for Zayn. Join the band.”
Payne also told Alesso that “Louis told me off for revealing a bit of our plans the other day,” basically confirming that some sort of 10-year gathering, FaceTime or otherwise, is in the works.
Tomlinson is one to talk, though. On Monday, April 20, in an Instagram Live between Payne and Horan, the latter said, “It’s so funny, we can never get anyone together, even though we’re all doing nothing. Even though I know for a fact that Louis’s sittin’ home, smoking cigarettes and drinking beers.” So we know they’re trying to get together. Horan also mentions a group What’sApp, which we guess means someone in 1D is an Android user? Watch this space.
This is an ongoing news story and has been updated throughout.