Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, who teamed up to bring the much-acclaimed Band of Brothers to life in 2001, are teaming up again to bring another mini-series based in World War II.
Band of Brothers was based on the book of the same name by Stephen E. Ambrose. Like the 1992 book, the miniseries followed the story of Easy Company of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division from Operation Overlord through V-J Day. The show won seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and many other awards for its portrayal of the realities of war along with the effects it has on a group of soldiers.
The new 10-episode series is titled Masters of the Air and is based on the book of that name by Donald L. Miller. The story will revolve around the American “bomber boys” that flew missions over Germany in WWII. The British and American bombing campaign was the longest military campaign in WWII and the only one fought inside of Germany until the end of the war when Allied ground forces finally crossed the German border. The book was based on interviews, oral histories and archives in America, Britain, and Germany.
The series is an Apple TV+ exclusive.
Cary Joji Fukunaga has been tapped to direct the first three episodes of the series. This will be the first directing job Fukunaga has taken since directing the James Bond movie No Time to Die. It’s his first television directing job since the series Maniac (starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill). Prior to that, he won an Emmy for his work directing True Detective.
Fukunaga’s Parliament of Owls company will also join the producing roster for the series.
Shooting for the series is expected to begin in London in March of 2021.
In between Band of Brothers and Masters of the Air, Hanks and Spielberg teamed up to produce The Pacific, another mini-series that focused on American sailors in WWII. That series won them eight Emmy awards.
Hanks, Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman of Playtone are Executive Producers for the new series. Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Amblin Entertainment and Steven Sharechian of Playtone will serve as Co-executive Producers. The script for the series is being written by John Orloff and Graham Yost who previously worked on the script for Band of Brothers. Orloff and Yost will also serve as Co-executive Producers.
Apple is working on a first-look deal with Fukunaga and Parliament of Owls to develop projects for the fledgling TV+ streaming service. If the deal is completed, Fukunaga will join Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free, A24 and Imagine Documentaries.
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Hanks and Spielberg are breaking from tradition with this installment of their WWII series. The first two were produced for HBO. Masters of the Air began development at HBO but an overhaul at HBO freed the project to be snapped up by someone else. Apple quickly made sure they were the ones to grab it. It’s the first series greenlit with Apple serving as the studio.