At long last, the third series in the World War II miniseries collection that includes Band of Brothers and The Pacific is finally moving forward. HBO originally began developing an adaptation of the Donald L. Miller book Masters of the Air—which focuses on the aerial wars of WWII from the point of view of the Eighth Air Force—back in 2013, but a few years ago they secretly dropped the project due to budgetary concerns. Not only was the reported $250 million price tag high, but the DVD market had imploded, and DVD sales were a major reason why Band of Brothers and The Pacific were so profitable.
But THR now reports that Apple TV+ has greenlit Masters of the Air for nine-episodes, with the entire production team from the previous two miniseries—including Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks—returning. Moreover, Apple will be using Masters of the Air to launch its own in-house studio called Masters, which will not just oversee production but will own the content it produces. This was seen as inevitable as Apple moved into the TV space, and Masters of the Air will be the first piece of content aired on Apple TV+ that the company will fully own.
Apple TV+ is due to launch on November 1st with a few original scripted series, like the future-set See starring Jason Momoa and the star-studded daytime talk show drama The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. There’s plenty more content where that came from, but it’ll be interesting to see how many people subscribe to Apple TV+ at launch, and if any of these series can become a breakout hit akin to Netflix’s House of Cards or Amazon’s Fleabag.
Masters of the Air certainly adds prestige clout to the streaming service, and if it follows in the footsteps of Band of Brothers and The Pacific, it’ll clean up at the Emmys.
A timetable for Masters of the Air isn’t given, but this one’s been in the works for a long while so one imagines Spielberg and Hanks are ready to roll. Band of Brothers alums John Orloff and Graham Yost (Justified) will write and co-executive produce this new series.