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Masters Of The Air: Band Of Brothers Sequel Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

In 2001, HBO miniseries Band of Brothers shattered every possible expectation, becoming and remaining one of the most beloved World War II stories adapted to screen by critics and viewers alike. Based on both Stephen E. Ambrose's book of the same name and a number of firsthand sources — including veterans — it chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of soldiers known as "Easy" Company.

The showrunners followed up on the success nine years later with The Pacific, shifting the focus from the war's European theater to the island-hopping tactics that the 1st Marine Division carried out over the titular ocean. Once again, the series received overwhelming critical acclaim for its stark portrayal of the most devastating war in human history.

They say lightning doesn't strike the same place twice, but it did in this franchise's case. And now it may strike a third time with Masters of the Air, based on the book of the same name by Donald L. Miller. The series is in Apple Studios' hands this time around rather than HBO, but Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman are returning to executive-produce once again. Screenwriters John Orloff and Graham Yost are also returning (via Deadline). Here's all the info we have so far about the release date, featured actors, and story of this spiritual sequel to Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

What's the release date for Masters of the Air?

Unfortunately, no release date for Masters of the Air has been reported as of yet. The very prospect of release dates is touchy these days, what with COVID-19 constantly forcing production schedules to cut back. The good news is that production has already begun in Oxfordshire, England, so at the very least, the gears are indeed turning (via the Oxford Mail).

According to IMDb, Band of Brothers filmed between March and November 2000, while The Pacific filmed from August 2007 to May 2008. If that's any indication, Masters of the Air should take a similar amount of time to fully produce. Accounting for potential COVID-19 delays (assuming the pandemic is still going on), conservative estimates put the release date somewhere between mid-2022 and early 2023.

Band of Brothers' ten-episode run lasted from September 9 to November 4, 2001; The Pacific's ten-episode run began on March 14 and ended on May 16, 2010. That may not provide any further indication as to Masters of the Air's release date, but it could be a hint that once it's out, it will take place over the course of two months, give or take.

Who's in the cast of Masters of the Air?

Band of Brothers and The Pacific both feature ensemble casts, so Masters of the Air will likely follow the trend. As of February 2021, however, only two actors have been confirmed for the upcoming series: Callum Turner and Austin Butler.

Turner is set to play Major John Egan, a member of the Eighth Air Force. He is perhaps most widely known for his role of Theseus Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which he will reprise in the sequel. Turner also starred in the 2016 television adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's literary classic War & Peace, as well as the 2020 film adaptation of Emma, another literary classic by Jane Austen.

Butler will portray another Eighth Air Force soldier: Major Gale Cleven. You might recognize him as Tex Watson from Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood, or maybe as Wil Ohmsford from the unfortunately short-lived fantasy series The Shannara Chronicles. There's also been ample buzz around Butler's casting as the King of Rock 'n Roll himself in director Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Elvis Presley biopic.

What's the plot of Masters of the Air?

Like Band of Brothers and The Pacific before it, Masters of the Air will focus on its own section of the United States armed forces during World War II: the aforementioned Eighth Air Force. Historically speaking, the group primarily flew missions over Northern Europe, engaging in bombing runs and dogfights alike. The series won't be 100% historically accurate (a feat that's nearly impossible), but with many of the same showrunners on board, it's sure to strive for a similar level of authenticity as its predecessors — if not a greater one.

If Donald L. Miller's eponymous book is anything to go by, "[B]omber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller's Air Force band [...] But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers" (via Simon & Schuster). The point: While actual plot details may be scarce for now, don't forget that this is war – the war, in myriad historians' eyes. It's a safe bet to say that not all the soldiers whom viewers will get attached to over the course of the show are going to make it.

Stayed tuned to Looper for future updates about Masters of the Air.