Skip to comments.'Band of Brothers' Team Heads for Pacific Theater
Posted on 07/21/2003 7:36:39 AM PDT by jern
'Band of Brothers' Team Heads for Pacific Theater Mon Jul 21, 1:44 AM ET Add Entertainment - Reuters TV to My Yahoo!
By Chris Gardner
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Steven Spielberg (news), Tom Hanks (news) and Gary Goetzman -- the Emmy-winning creative team behind "Band of Brothers" -- are mounting a new 10-part World War II mini-series centered on battles in the Pacific theater.
DreamWorks confirmed that the project, being referred to as the "Untitled World War II Pacific Theater Project," is in the early stages of development, with a deal being finalized for HBO to serve as a partner in the mini-series.
The production is expected to require a "Brothers"-type budget of more than $100 million.
Screenwriter Bruce McKenna, who penned several installments of the first miniseries and picked up a Writers Guild of America Award for his work, already has held numerous creative meetings with Spielberg and Goetzman and is expected to become the head writer.
There is no deal for McKenna, and negotiations haven't started for the scribe to board the project, but sources said the principals are discussing scheduling and how much it would cost to hire McKenna for what would be a long-term assignment.
Currently a hot writer on the film front, McKenna is adapting Marvel Comics' "Hands of Shang Chi" for DreamWorks and recently closed a deal to adapt the upcoming nonfiction book "The Perfect Mile" for Universal Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment and Kennedy/Marshall.
The "Pacific Theater Project" is not based on any existing source material but is expected to follow a company of soldiers through the island campaign, just as "Brothers" viewed the European campaign from D-Day forward through the eyes of Easy Company of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division.
The multiepisode "Brothers," based on the book by historian Stephen E. Ambrose, proved to be an awards circuit favorite after it aired on HBO in 2001. It was nominated for 19 Emmys and earned six, including a trophy for outstanding miniseries.
Though I've always thought the ordeal of the marine 1st defense battalion, VMF 211 and the civilian construction workers during the seige at Wake Island deserved some attention from Hollywood (the 1943 propaganda film bore no resemblence to reality) such a series would stretch longer than the actual seige.
Yet another war movie? Well I guess the hollywood types got to keep filming something, to keep that money flowing....
I have to admit, he's chosen well for his series: it stayed without the usual Hollywood retrospective liberalism and just stayed close at hand to the subject matter without much judgement. That he's going to be using that source material (and I hope he does) bodes well for this new series.
I do have the offhand feeling because it's the Japanese he'll try to "humanize" (make more sympathetic) the Japanese soldiers. We'll probably not get the "this is what's behind it all" peek we got with the Nazi concentration camps. Darker than white skin privilege runs deep in their set.
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