Apple’s Cary Joji Fukunaga-Directed Masters of the Air Begins Production

Ahead of the long-awaited release of No Time to Die later this year, it looks like director Cary Joji Fukunaga has already moved on to his next major project in the form of Apple TV+’s World War II miniseries Masters of the Air. The Emmy-winning filmmaker took to Instagram to confirm that production on the long-in-development follow-up to HBO’s acclaimed limited series Band of Brothers and The Pacific has finally begun. The project will be part of Fukunaga’s first-look TV development deal with Apple Studios, which he signed last year through his Parliament of Owls banner.

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Based primarily on Donald L. Miller’s nonfiction novel “Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany,” the limited series will tell the story of the aerial wars in WWII through the eyes of men of the Eighth Air Force, also known as the Mighty Eighth, who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep.

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Masters of the Air is a follow-up to HBO’s Emmy-winning World War II miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific. It was originally set up at HBO back in 2013, but due to the project’s reported $250 million budget, the premium cable network decided to exit the series.

The limited series will star Austin Butler (Elvis) as Major Gale Cleven, Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald) as Major John Egan, Anthony Boyle (The Plot Against America) as Major Crosby, Nate Mann as Major Rosie Rosenthal, and Raff Law as Sgt. Ken Lemmons.

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Masters of the Air will be directed and executive produced by Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay written by John Orloff (Band of Brothers) and Graham Yost. This marks Fukunaga’s TV directing comeback in nearly three years since 2018’s Maniac and 2014’s True Detective Season 1.

The series is produced by Apple Studios along with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone. Executive producers are Orloff, Yost, Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Goetzman, along with Amblin Television’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey and Playtone’s Steven Shareshian. Alex Maggioni will oversee for Amblin alongside Spielberg, Frank and Falvey.