HBO ‘Band’ invades Japan

Hanks, Spielberg to work with McKenna again on project

Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will reteam with “Band of Brothers” collaborator Steven Spielberg to mount a 10-part HBO miniseries about the American battle against the Japanese in the Pacific.

The mini will be made under the DreamWorks banner. “Band of Brothers” was based on Stephen Ambrose’s bestselling account of the 506th Airborne Division’s experiences after landing in France on D-Day. The new project, which is in its most nascent stages, will be an original creation not based on a book.

Project will be spearheaded by Bruce McKenna, who won a Writers Guild Award for an episode of “Band of Brothers.” McKenna is expected to begin outlining the episodes with Hanks and Spielberg, right after completes adapting “The Perfect Mile” for Frank Marshall to direct at Universal and Spyglass. Based on an upcoming book by Neal Bascomb, “The Perfect Mile” chronicles the struggle in 1954 by three premier runners to be the first to run a mile in under four minutes (Daily Variety, July 15).

The WWII mini is a project Hanks and Goetzman will tackle after they mount a 13-part mini about the American Revolutionary War that is based on the David McCullough book “John Adams.” Scribe Kirk Ellis is writing the bible of how the episodes will unfold before writers are hired to script them.

Counting “John Adams,” the WWII Pacific project will be Hanks’ fourth HBO mini. He first teamed with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard on 1998’s “From the Earth to the Moon,” which won the Emmy for outstanding miniseries.

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