Fresh off directing his much-anticipated Bond movie, Cary Fukunaga has officially started production on his next project — the war drama miniseries Masters of the Air for Apple TV+. Fukunaga shared an Instagram post of the first slate, which actually has “Whirlwind” as the production code for the series (although no official title change has yet been announced). Holding the slate looks to be Austin Butler, one of the leads on the show.
Although we don’t see a lot in the picture, Butler is clearly already in costume wearing a vintage bomber jacket. Masters of the Air is based on the actions of the Eighth Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. If this type of series sounds familiar it’s because the show will be produced by Playtone, which also made Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Naturally, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are credited as executive producers, making this the third WWII miniseries that is certain to be as highly regarded as the previous ones. This has been a long-gestating project for the iconic duo, with the series originally being announced way back in 2013.
The series will be adapted from Donald L. Miller’s non-fiction book of the same name, from a script written by John Orloff and Graham Yost. Orloff and Yost previously penned Band of Brothers for television, with Yost also producing and writing a slew of other fantastic shows, including The Americans and Justified. Butler leads the cast of fantastic but relatively unknown actors, including Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Nate Mann and Raff Law.
In order to beef up their television projects after a wicked awards season for Ted Lasso, Apple TV+ is throwing a lot of money at Masters of the Air — with Deadline reporting that 10 episodes will cost north of $200 million to make. The project was originally slated to begin development at HBO, since they also produced Band of Brothers and The Pacific. But as the outlet was overhauled Apple TV+ quickly snapped it up, a rather smart move for its programming and future award ambitions.
Fukunaga has already proven his success in the television field, after his incredible collaboration with Nic Pizzolatto on True Detective that gave us one of the best seasons ever made. After taking over the latest Bond movie from Sam Mendes, Fukunaga’s No Time to Die will finally head to theaters this October after being delayed twice. Fukunaga recently announced that he is also attached to direct Tokyo Ghost based on the iconic cyberpunk comic book. His wide range of project choices certainly makes him one of the most dynamic directors in Hollywood, and I’m thrilled to see how his take on Masters of the Air will bring something new to the WWII genre.
Masters of the Air has no release date yet. Check out Fukunaga‘s Instagram post below.