Apple TV+, the global tech giant’s imminently launching streaming platform, just procured what has to be considered a television crown jewel for its very first in-house-produced series, which is set to reunite the creative team of Band of Brothers and The Pacific, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, for a third prestige World War II miniseries.
Masters of the Air is the title of the television project, set for Apple TV+, which will see Spielberg and Hanks return in their capacity as executive producers. The new series, in keeping with the theme of exploring other theaters and aspects of the war, will focus on the skirmishes fought in the skies, based on the 2007 book by Donald Miller, titled in full, Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany.
Apple’s Masters of the Air will showcase a very different arena of the war in following the American Bomber Boys of the Second World War. While their service represents a stark contrast from the grind of the ground troops, their campaigns – most notably in Berlin, Dresden and Hanover – were more perilous, with planes being a more focused target of the enemy than a regular grunt; an aspect compounded by the psychological discipline required to maneuver 25,000 feet above, breathing thin, often-freezing air. However, with their increased risk comes increased recreation in the form of frequent pub visits and dancing to the sound of the era, defined by Swing music.
John Orloff, one of the writers of Band of Brothers, will return here to adapt the book, also serving as an executive producer. Spielberg will executive-produce via Amblin Television, and Hanks will do so via his Playtone shingle, joined by partner Gary Goetzman. They will be joined by co-executive producer in (returning Band of Brothers writer) Graham Yost (Justified, Sneaky Pete), joined in that capacity by Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Amblin TV and Steven Shareshian of Playtone. Additionally, Apple’s worldwide video heads, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, will oversee on the company’s behalf.
The announcement of Masters of the Air is certainly exciting news, especially as the legend of 2001’s Band of Brothers and 2010 follow-up The Pacific – both of which brandished high-profile casts – has grown over the years, and Memorial Day marathons of the series have become a tradition on HBO. Both miniseries have also reaped an array of awards season accolades, notably with Band of Brothers having earned 7 Primetime Emmy wins (including the “Outstanding Miniseries” prize), and The Pacific’s 8 Emmy wins (also including one for “Outstanding Miniseries”). Indeed, they are considered the gold standard for wartime television dramas.
Masters of the Air doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but the platform on which the series will exclusively stream, Apple TV+, launches on November 1.
We’ll keep you updated on Apple TV+’s Masters of the Air as the news arrives!