Spielberg and Hanks Heading Back to World War II for a Third HBO Mini-Series

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks on the set of Saving Private Ryan (1998) Movie ImageTom Hanks and Steven Spielberg can’t get enough of World War II. And you can understand why. They’ve got a chest full of awards for their WWII projects, and they’re about to collect some more.

Having already covered the ground war against the Axis Powers in Europe in the truly epic “Band of Brothers”, then the island hopping warfare against the Japanese in “The Pacific”, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are now headed back to Europe. Or to be more precise, the skies over Europe.

The duo are officially developing a third epic mini-series for HBO, this one focused on the air war against Nazi Germany. As with the two previous mini-series, this one will also be based on a non-fiction book, this time Donald L. Miller’s “Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany”.

More about the book from Amazon:

Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band, which toured U.S. air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. In 1943, an American bomber crewman stood only a one-in-five chance of surviving his tour of duty, twenty-five missions. The Eighth Air Force lost more men in the war than the U.S. Marine Corps.

“Justified” showrunner Graham Yost is also expected back for the third mini-series, having been involved in writing and directing episodes of both “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific”.

It’s going to be hard for “Masters of the Air” to come close to matching the greatness of “Band of Brothers”. “The Pacific” couldn’t, even though it tried pretty hard and had some really great moments throughout. At the end of the day, though, it couldn’t really match the arching story that “Band of Brothers” and its massive cast of colorful (but true) characters provided. Don’t get me wrong, it was still damn good, it’s just that “Band of Brothers” stands above a LOT of WWII stories.

As with “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific”, expect HBO to go all in on “Masters of the Air” in terms of budget and promotion. That’s what I love about these mini-series from HBO — it’s go big or go home, and so far HBO has never had to go home.

Masters of the Air Book Cover

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Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • Aegon the Conqueror

    It truly is a shame they won’t be able to have the interviews with the real life people the characters portrayed. That was probably the coolest thing about Band of Brothers for me.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      Agreed. One of the best parts of Band of Brothers was seeing the real guys at the end. It actually made me pick up their books. Dick Winters and a bunch of other guys got so famous from Band of Brothers that they wrote books about their stories. Great stuff.

  • Tjkinate

    Korean War next PLEASE!!! That forgotten war has plenty of stories to tell and some of its veterans are still alive to be interviewed.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQ3DSDQFNMPJSUCSL3PHDBI2ZY tom

    I love you for sharing this great news made me a happy man tonight. I still need to watch band of brothers again but in 1080 this time greatest series still till this day.