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Commander Jameson

Masters of the Air - follow-up to Band of Brothers and The Pacific - HBO, Spielberg, Hanks developing

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Source from The Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywood...niseries-413632

The follow-up to "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific" will be based on Donald Miller's "Masters of the Air."

Joining an oeuvre that already includes 2001's Band of Brothers and 2010's The Pacific, the untitled miniseries will explore the aerial wars through the eyes of enlisted men of the Eighth Air Force -- known as the men of the Mighty Eighth. The project will use at its source material historian Donald L. Miller’s nonfiction tome Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany.

Spielberg, Hanks and Gary Goetzman again will serve as executive producers via Hanks and Goetzman’s Playtone and Spielberg’s Amblin Television. HBO executives have been in discussions about a third World War II miniseries for several months. Justified creator Graham Yost, who wrote several episodes of Brothers and Pacific, recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he was eager to reteam with Hanks and Spielberg on another WWII epic. And now that the source material has been optioned, the project can move into development. Additional source material might be added later.

Band of Brothers, an 11-hour epic that ran over 10 parts in 2001, was based on the best-seller by historian Stephen E. Ambrose, who died in 2002. It followed Easy Company, part of the Army's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, through their mission in Europe from Operation Overlord in 1944 through V-J Day a year later. The miniseries featured Damian Lewis; the British actor was then mostly unknown to American audiences but would go on to a slew of awards and accolades in Showtime’s Homeland. The premiere of Band of Brothers, just days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, drew 10 million viewers (though ratings measurements at that time are less accurate than they are today).

The Pacific, based primarily on the memoirs Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie and With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge, followed men in three regiments of the 1st Marine Division as they battled the Japanese in the Pacific from 1942-45. The first of its 10 parts pulled in 3.1 million viewers for its premiere in March 2010, during a much more cluttered entertainment landscape.

The miniseries are a significant financial commitment for HBO requiring the construction of large-scale sets, significant special effects and pyrotechnics and, because of the nature of the stories, big ensemble casts. Brothers cost $125 million to produce, and The Pacific was budgeted at $200 million; millions more were spent on promotion for both series.

But Band of Brothers and The Pacific are among HBO’s prestige projects, and both cleaned up during awards season. Brothers was nominated for 19 Emmys and won six, including outstanding miniseries; it also won Golden Globes and was awarded a Peabody. The Pacific took home eight Emmys in 2010, more than any other program.

Website for The Might Eighth: http://mightyeighth.org/

Wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Air_Force

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I imagine it's going to follow an American squadron because it's being made by Americans and they're using an actual book as basis once again, and not as part of some nationalistic conspiracy to write non-American allied nations out of the history books. As much as I'd love to see a proper RAF TV series - maybe based on Derek Robinson's books, especially a remake of the Piece of Cake series - I really don't see the problem with this focusing on the 8th Air Force. Anyway, imagine the carping if these Americans made a series about British airmen - any tiny inaccuracies would be blamed on typical stereotyping and so on.

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Why does it need an American troop, it should be a British Troop ready for Battle of Britain. When it is due out on TV/Blu Ray release.

Because the vast majority of American viewers are pretty much only interested in America.

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Also, if my old Mighty 8th bomber sim was anything to go by, having a few people contained in a small ready-made environment, in steady formation, probably lends itself to storytelling a bit better than having individuals whizzing around in spitfires.

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On a related note, is 'The Pacific' worth checking out? I enjoyed Band of Brothers but the first few eps of The Pacific seemed to recieve really lukewarm reviews. Interested to know if it picked up.

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It has its merits. It suffers from being a fragmented narrative in comparison to Band of Brothers (which has the easy hook of following a single company rather than three men who are in different units and battles) and from not being based on a single coherent source. It also has problems with mawkishness in places. That said, the episodes which primarily follow Eugene Sledge (on Peleliu and Okinawa) are very, very good, and bleak as fuck.

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The Pacific is fantastic. It's perhaps not quite as good as Band of Brothers for some of the reasons Rudi mentions above, but it's still really great.

Proper hyped for this new mini-series, nice work with the intel OP.

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I imagine it's going to follow an American squadron because it's being made by Americans and they're using an actual book as basis once again, and not as part of some nationalistic conspiracy to write non-American allied nations out of the history books. As much as I'd love to see a proper RAF TV series - maybe based on Derek Robinson's books, especially a remake of the Piece of Cake series - I really don't see the problem with this focusing on the 8th Air Force. Anyway, imagine the carping if these Americans made a series about British airmen - any tiny inaccuracies would be blamed on typical stereotyping and so on.

I agree but I do think that these series would be so much better for having a little reality introduced. Y'know like showing that other countries were actually involved in the war.

It's this that gets people goats IMO. Would a US series that actually tries to educate its US audience (inbetween the fights and explosions naturally) be too much to ask?

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I dunno why people are down on this being about American pilots - it's a US television programme, made by Americans, about *their* heritage. They are perfectly entitled to make television about their own history, and are under no obligation to include British people to pander to British audiences.

Oh good, another American TV series showing the world how they won WWII..single handedly.

If you were watching a programme about Lancaster bomber pilots, would you be sitting there saying "Huh, another British TV programme about how the UK won the war singlehandedly. Where are the Canadians? Do they suddenly not exist?"

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:omg: :omg: :omg: I can't wait for this!

I found The Pacific hard going I must say, it felt so disjointed compared to Band of Brothers. That said, I bet it's worth a rewatch now I know it's not Band of Brothers 2 and I can take it on its own merits.

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I agree but I do think that these series would be so much better for having a little reality introduced. Y'know like showing that other countries were actually involved in the war.

It's this that gets people goats IMO. Would a US series that actually tries to educate its US audience (inbetween the fights and explosions naturally) be too much to ask?

So say Band of Brothers, a show about the 101st Airborne should have included... what exactly? It has British troops in it at several points as I recall. OK they're either getting killed by Tiger tanks for slavishly following orders or the 101st have to rescue them, but that's hardly the point ;)

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Well you've answered your own question there.

I'm not complaining about a US show concentrating on things from their perspective. The issue is that with a topic like ww2 there was enormous crossover and the airbrushing out of allies does no one any good. Especially for educating Americans that the world does not revolve around them.

Case in point, the Pacific campaign itself. We had a huge contingent fighting there. Air, land and sea in terrible conditions against the Japanese. However, to think of the pacific war now many people, even here, think it was soley an American campaign.

Stuff like this is important as its history and the more things go unchallenged the more people just forget or believe what their shown as fact. Especially Americans. ;):(

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But are UK war projects really any more inclusive than stuff like this? UK stuff might include Australians sometimes, but not a lot else. Both sides of the war had countries that you never see anything about.

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I recall a quote from someone regarding the lack of British activities (cant remember if it was in relation to BoB, The Pacific, or even Saving Private Ryan), but it was along the lines of, "If you want a show about British involvement in WW2, then you'll need to make it yourselves".

These shows aren't focussing on the whole conflict, just the events surrounding a specific group of (American) individuals, so there's no need for any "Meanwhile, over in the British army..." bits.

Given that the 8th Air Force flew from British airfields during the war, then there may be some depiction of that, but I doubt there'll be much mention otherwise.

I'd love a series with the same scope, scale and budget depicting British involvement, but its probably unlikely due to funding and available markets for the final product to be sold to.

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Well you've answered your own question there.

I'm not complaining about a US show concentrating on things from their perspective. The issue is that with a topic like ww2 there was enormous crossover and the airbrushing out of allies does no one any good. Especially for educating Americans that the world does not revolve around them.

Case in point, the Pacific campaign itself. We had a huge contingent fighting there. Air, land and sea in terrible conditions against the Japanese. However, to think of the pacific war now many people, even here, think it was soley an American campaign.

Stuff like this is important as its history and the more things go unchallenged the more people just forget or believe what their shown as fact. Especially Americans. wink.pngsad.png

But the Pacific wasn't glossing over the contributions of the non-US Allies, it was the story of a handful of specific American soldiers. If they weren't involved with any British / Austrailian / Canadian etc soldiers, then they could hardly be accused of "airbrushing them out" if they weren't part of that particular story in the first place.

I thought (may well be wrong) that the different Allied forces didn't really fight alongside each other anyway (except in the broad metaphorical sense), so it seems unlikely you could include other nations without making some pretty significant deviation from the historical record.

If you think there should be programmes being made about the British / Australian / etc contribution of the Pacific / Asian theatres, then fair enough, but it seems unreasonable to complain that a story about American soldiers doesn't cover British soldiers as well.

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I thought (may well be wrong) that the different Allied forces didn't really fight alongside each other anyway (except in the broad metaphorical sense), so it seems unlikely you could include other nations without making some pretty significant deviation from the historical record.

Generally this is correct. Fighting 'alongside' other nationalities generally meant having allied military units a couple miles away, except in certain comparatively rare cases. This was largely down to armies using divisions as the most common 'block' for large-scale organisation, so you might have a British division detached to fight as part of a French corps but they'd rarely see any French troops because their areas of operation were clearly defined.

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