Spielberg scouting Prague

Many vie to join 'Band of Brothers'

PRAGUE — Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are location scouting in Prague this week for the HBO/DreamWorks miniseries “Band of Brothers.”

Based on a non-fiction war history that was one of the key inspirations for “Saving Private Ryan,” which paired Spielberg and Hanks as director and actor, the $100 million miniseries this time finds them acting as co-producers and co-directors. Local production service companies Etic, Milk & Honey and Stillking are vying for the job, with Stillking squiring the team around to locations.

Etic provided production services for the “Young Indiana Jones” TV series when it filmed in Prague; Milk & Honey will be touting its L.A. connection through its head office.

The Czechs are facing stiff competition. The British government is said to be backing a London bid, complete with a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Ireland fired its best shot by hosting a meeting with its president, Mary McAleese. But in Prague, the Hollywood team will have to be content with a face-to-face with the minister of defense.

Pre-production would start in October, with a March-December shoot.

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