HBO Working on “Band of Brothers In The Sky”
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HBO Working on “Band of Brothers In The Sky”

War Films

HBO Working on “Band of Brothers In The Sky”

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are working on a third HBO series about World War II. based on Donald L. Miller's acclaimed book, "Masters of the Air."

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are working on a third HBO series about World War II, based on Donald L. Miller's acclaimed book, Masters of the Air.

Thirteen years after completing “Band of Brothers” and four years after its companion series, “The Pacific,” Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are teaming up again for a new World War II HBO series: “Masters of the Air.”

According to Empire Online, the new series will be based on Donald Miller’s book of the same name, and will focus on the exploits of the U.S. Eighth Air Force in World War II’s European Theater. The book focused on the state of England during the war, the soldiers stuck in German prison camps and the hunger marches endured by the captured airmen.

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Although it’s still unclear which events the new series will focus on, preparations have already been made to incorporate commentary from Mighty Eighth veterans. Frank ‘Bud’ Buschmeier is one veteran who has already been interviewed for the series, and more are expected.

According to Lafayette College, where Miller serves as the John Henry MacCracken Professor of History, this new series will show “a very different war” than what fans saw in the other two. For example, Eighth Air Force airmen only served six- to seven-month tours because the conditions were so horrific; Almost 8 in 10 were injured, captured or killed.

Still, fans can expect the same attention to detail and production value they’re used to seeing.

“If you will, it’s a ‘Band of Brothers’ in the sky where the guys stick together through love and leadership and there’s a lot of camaraderie in the planes,” Miller said in an early HBOWatch story about the series. “It’s a very personal story.”

Update: June 10, 2015

Although it’s been some time since this purported project began, news outlets have been reporting that HBO is in fact making headway on its rollout of “Masters of the Air.”

Flying Magazine claims that the budget for the miniseries is $500 million—more than seven times that of Saving Private Ryan. This would allegedly make “Masters” one of the most expensive television projects in history.

Flying also reported that the heart of the series will focus on the “Bloody Hundredth” bomb group. The nickname comes from the group’s heavy World War II losses; by mid-1943, the Bloody Hundredth became a special target of the Luftwaffe, and sustained consistently high casualties. (Throughout the war, there were several instances in which the men sustained over a dozen losses on a single bombing mission.)

Over the Mountain Journal reports that the series is expected to be released in late 2015.

Update: April 27, 2017

Now officially titled The Mighty Eighth, the HBO project is reportedly still inching toward production. Last month, the site NME reported that writers and producers have been scouting out locations in England for filming the gigantic project. Release dates remain unclear, as do actual production and filming dates, but the news about momentum on the series is good news for Band of Brothers fans who have been waiting on this project since its exciting trailer debuted in late 2013.

Check out the miniseries’ stunning trailer here.

Add Your Comments

13 Comments

  1. Posted June 15, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    28 missions over Japan through the last few months of WWI detailed in my father’s diary

  2. Posted June 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I would be interested to see if the series mentions anything about the greatest loss by a bomb group of the 8th AF during World War II – not Berlin or Schweinfurt but Kassel on the 27th of September, 1944. On that day, the 445th Bomb Group was ravaged by the Luftwaffe after becoming separated from the main bomber stream. A force of approximately 150 German fighters (100 Fw 190’s and 50 Bf 109’s) downed 25 B-24’s in a matter of less than 5 minutes out of a force of 35 planes. Of the remaining 10 planes, only 4 made it back to their home station at Tibenham, south of Norwich. 3 planes crash-landed on the Continent behind friendly lines; 2 landed at the emergency field at Manston; and 1 crashed while attempting to land at another field. Of the 235 men onboard the 25 planes lost over Germany, 115 were killed in action (12 of whom were killed by German civilians or Hitler Youth) and 123 became POWs.

  3. Rick Kluba
    Posted June 25, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    My father-in-law served with the 8th Air Force in the 305th Bomb Group, 422nd Bomb Squadron and flew 35 missions as a ball-turret gunner from Oct. 1944 to Mar. 1945.
    He kept a hand-written combat diary of the accounts of all the missions he flew, which I have published in book form with the title “A HERO NOT FORGOTTEN: The Combat Diary Of Sgt. Michael Botsko”.
    It is available on Amazon.com, the Kindle Store, Amazon Europe, Barnes & Noble, Tower Books and other fine bookstores throughout the U.S.
    25% of all book royalties are donated to the VFW.

  4. michael buschmeier
    Posted June 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    My grandfather, Frank “Bud” Buschmeier was in this story line. His stories still amaze me because of the amount of detail that a 91 year old WW2 vet still obtains. I just found out about the “Band of brothers” remake and again I am so proud to see that he was the first Interviewed and considered for this part. I know there are a lot of great stories involving the 100th bomb group during WW2, but all I can say is that because my grandfather was chosen to Speak on behalf of them, I know it will be a great story. I can’t wait to see more about this movie in the making

  5. Bob Shitfits
    Posted February 20, 2015 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I wonder if they’ll show any Luftwaffe fighter pilots

    • Posted November 21, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      They should also interview lufftwaffer pilots had the honor of meeting one and read his book. I couldn’t put it down. Shot down by Russians and held pow toll 1955

  6. Elizabeth Morgan
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    My grandfather was part of the 15th Army Air Corps. It just seems sad that not many movies or shows are including that part of the Air campaign. It would be nice to combine the two 8th and 15th. Granted they were in different theaters, but they were working on the same types of missions. All the Airmen should be recognized. If it weren’t for them the war would have been different.

    • Dan Sloan
      Posted August 10, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing Elizabeth, I agree, the 15th flying out of Italy to go after Romanian Oil Fields (etc) was noess terror-filled or important to the cause. John Muirhead’s “Those who fall” tops my b17 memoirs by far, a pilot from the 15th.

  7. Pete wood
    Posted August 14, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    The yanks had some balls bombing in day light.

  8. Timothy Foley Jr.
    Posted October 15, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    My Father, Lt. Col. T.R.Foley was a member of the 100th Bombwing. He flew
    B-25s out of Acention Island hunting U-Boats. And then joined the 8th Air Force in England. After a B-17 taxied off a runway and injured my Father badly ( cracked vertebrae ). Col. Tibet’s picked him for one of the crews in operation “Silverplate”.
    I was very proud of my Dad. I look forward to this mini-series. I know that the team of Spielberg & Hanks will do as fine a job as they did with their previous outings. I think a film about the XX Air Force would be great.

  9. Sam
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like it will be good. I’ve watched Band of Brothers and The Pacific countless times.

    Saying that, is there any chance HBO + Hanks + Spielberg would team up to make a series on another war, such as the Korean War? Korean War vets are all in their 80’s and 90’s and dying out too and it’s sad Hollywood and most Western media practically ignores it. 36,000 US troops were KIA Korea in only 3 years, so there’s so many stories to tell. E,g. the 1st Marine Division at Inchon and Chosin Reservoir (also Army Task Force Faith / RCT-31), the Army Rangers companies, MiG Alley, etc

  10. Gerhard
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    Any news on this?

  11. MaximusDickus
    Posted June 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    This ‘alleged’ series is beginning to look more and more like vaporware with each passing year. Don’t hold your breath that this will ever be completed.

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