What is better than a movie with Tom Hanks? A movie with Tom Hanks which was directed by Steven Spielberg. Well, we all know of the very famous movie called Saving Private Ryan, released in 1998. This is one of those iconic movies, no matter the genre. The genre is of course, the war genre, which you can guess by the name, although you shouldn’t be guessing, but knowing, or watching the movie, right this moment.
Fast forward twenty or so years into the future and we see Spielberg and Hanks reunite for a war series and not just a single movie. What are they up to? Is the series going to live up to the expectations or be a flop? What is it about?
A bit of History on the Trilogy
The upcoming series, called the Masters of the Air will be the third in a trilogy of war series. The first was released in 2001, called the Band of Brothers. It follows the story of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, from their days of training to their action scenes in Europe. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name, released in 1992 by Stephen E. Ambrose. Hanks and Spielberg worked on that series.
Fast forward to 2010 and you have another series, the sequel to the Band of Brothers, called The Pacific. The Pacific focuses on the United States Marine Corps’ actions in the Pacific Theater of Operations. It follows three marines, Robert Lackie of the 1st regiment, Eugene Sledge of the 5th regiment and John Basilone from the 7th regiment of the 1st marine division. This part was produced by Spielberg and Hanks, both being the executive producers.
The Masters of the Air
The name itself should signal a focus on airplanes and rightfully so. Spielberg and Hanks will once again produce a series, which has been reportedly in the works since 2012. But, up until 2019, almost nothing about the series was known to the public. With a deal with Apple, the show will be aired on their online streaming service, Apple TV Plus.
This series will follow the 100th Bombardment Division of the Eighth Air Force, which had operations in Europe, mainly bombarding German cities. It will focus on the icy cold and often death-defying bombardment runs over Berlin, Hanover and Dresden, among other cities. It is notable that of the US Air Force total 117,000 deaths, 47,000 were from the Eighth Air Force.
The first two iterations of the series won a total of 14 Emmy awards, but they were nominated for 40 of them. The sequel is expected to be 8 or 9 episodes long, depending on who you ask, but they all agree that the estimated budget for the show exceeds 200 million dollars.
With Hanks and Spielberg reunited for another war series, we can expect them to pick up another set of awards and show us the horrors of war, specifically one waged in air during World War II.