Tom Hanks will star in a sequel to the World War II movie "Greyhound" and executive produce a new World War II series "Masters of the Air," about the air campaign against Nazi Germany for Apple TV+. It's part of a new deal between the streaming service and Hanks and partner Gary Goetzman's Playtone Pictures.
"Greyhound," originally made by Sony for a 2020 theatrical release, became the first big studio movie to adopt a streaming-only release, and it stands as one of the most-watched movies on Apple TV+. Hanks played Capt. Ernie Krause, who's tasked with protecting a convoy from German U-boats as it crosses the Atlantic in 1942. Hanks personally wrote the screenplay based on C.S. Forester's 1955 novel "The Good Shepherd," after picking up a copy in an airport gift shop.
While Forester never wrote any kind of sequel to "The Good Shepherd," there are hundreds of untold WWII stories that could inspire Hanks as he prepares to continue Krause's adventures.
"Masters of the Air" has wrapped filming and has a rumored $250 million budget. Cary Fukunaga, director of the recent James Bond movie "No Time to Die," directed at least the pilot episode of the series, which stars Austin Butler, who will be seen this summer starring as Army veteran Elvis Presley in director Baz Luhrmann's movie "Elvis."
"Masters of the Air" is described as a sequel to the classic HBO WWII infantry series "Band of Brothers," also produced by Hanks and Goetzman, along with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. Their subsequent HBO series "The Pacific" featured none of the same characters based on real military members but, because it was also a WWII period drama, HBO called it a sequel. Amblin is also a production partner on "Masters of the Air."
Hanks and his partner Goetzman have a slew of Emmys from their 25-year partnership, but former child actor Goetzman has achieved a new kind of fame recently as the inspiration for the lead character in director Paul Thomas Anderson's award-winning movie "Licorice Pizza." Like the fictional Gary Valentine, Goetzman appeared in a Lucille Ball movie as a kid and spent his teen years as an entrepreneur in California's San Fernando Valley.
Apple offered no details on a release date for "Masters of the Air," production details on the "Greyhound" sequel nor information about any other projects Playtone might have in development for Apple TV+. We'll update you as things develop.
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