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Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks to bring WWII drama Masters of the Air to Apple TV+

The team that brought you Band of Brothers and The Pacific is at it again. Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Playtone, the production company owned by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, will adapt Donald L. Miller’s nonfiction novel Masters Of The Air for Apple. The limited series will air exclusively on Apple’s upcoming streaming service, Apple TV+.

Spielberg, Hanks, and Goetzman will serve as executive producers on the series, which tells the story of the Eighth Air Force, or the Mighty Eighth, a group of pilots that changed the course of World War II. Masters of the Air will be written by Band of Brothers scribe John Orloff. Deadline reports that the series will be about eight hours long, and will cost around $200 million to produce.

Interestingly, Masters of the Air will be the first Apple TV+ series filmed at Apple’s own production studio, which is also called Masters. Apple executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht will oversee the studio, Variety says.

Masters of the Air marks yet another instance of Apple poaching top-tier talent from its streaming service competitors. Band of Brothers and The Pacific, both of which Spielberg and Hanks produced, aired on HBO, where they earned a cumulative 43 Emmy nominations and won 14. Masters of the Air was also set to debut on the premium network, but HBO decided to pass on the project earlier this year, opening the door for Apple to swoop in and pick it up.

That’s becoming something of a trend. Just yesterday, Alfonso Cuarón, director of Netflix’s Oscar-winning film Roma, signed an exclusive deal with Apple to produce TV content for Apple TV+. That deal is said to last for five years.

In addition to Masters of the Air, Steven Spielberg is producing a revival of the sci-fi anthology series Amazing Stories for Apple TV+. The original Amazing Stories, which Spielberg created, ran on NBC for two seasons in the mid-’80s.

Apple TV+ launches on November 1, 2019, at $5 a month. Despite the staggering number of big names signed on for Apple TV+ content, analysts have expressed concerns about the service’s limited library and its overall effect on the streaming economy, which could be to drive up subscription prices across the board.

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