The pair will executive produce Masters of the Air, a miniseries focusing on American bombers during the war, for Apple’s streaming service Apple TV+. The project is a companion piece to their previous WWII-set miniseries, 2001’s Band of Brothers and 2010’s The Pacific, which aired on HBO. Gary Goetzman, their collaborator on both of those series, will also executive produce, with Hanks and Goetzman’s Playtone and Spielberg’s Amblin Television producing the series with Apple.
John Orloff, a writer on Band of Brothers, will write the new series, and is on board as a co-executive producer alongside fellow Band of Brothers and The Pacific alum Graham Yost.
Masters of the Air, based on the book of the same name by Donald L. Miller, was previously in development at HBO, but the cable network ultimately passed on the project. “After careful consideration, HBO decided not to move forward with Masters of the Air. We look forward to our next collaboration with Playtone and Amblin,” HBO said in a statement.
Both Band of Brothers and The Pacific garnered widespread critical acclaim and multiple Emmys, including Outstanding Limited Series for both. Spielberg and Hanks, of course, first collaborated on the Oscar-winning WWII film Saving Private Ryan.
Masters of the Air joins a growing roster of projects at Apple’s new streaming platform, which launches Nov. 1. It’s also the second project from Spielberg to be produced at Apple, following the anthology series Amazing Stories — which, incidentally, will feature Saving Private Ryan star Edward Burns as a WWII pilot in one episode.