Director to enlist at HBO

Helmer Tim Van Patten (“Rome”) is set to direct the first installment of HBO’s 10-part WWII miniseries “The Pacific.”

Pay cabler is in talks with Carl Franklin, whose credits also include “Rome,” to direct the fifth segment. Other directors are yet to be signed.

Filming on “The Pacific” begins in Australia next month. The miniseries — which boasts an estimated $200 million budget — comes from exec producers Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the team behind 2001’s Emmy-winning limited series “Band of Brothers.”

Designed as a companion to “Band of Brothers,” “The Pacific” follows the stories of three U.S. Marines as they fight in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

Van Patten’s relationship with HBO has included directing episodes of “Deadwood,” “Sex and the City,” “The Wire” and “The Sopranos.” He also helmed a seg of Spielberg’s TNT mini “Into the West,” as well as episodes of “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Ed.”

As for Franklin, his credits include the features “Devil in a Blue Dress” and “Out of Time.” Besides “Rome,” his recent smallscreen directing gigs include FX’s “The Riches.”

HBO Films is behind “The Pacific,” along with Playtone and DreamWorks TV.

Also aboard: co-exec producers Tony To and Graham Yost; supervising producer Bruce McKenna; and co-producers Robert Schenkkan, George Pelecanos and Michelle Ashford.

Hugh Ambrose, son of “Band of Brothers” author Stephen E. Ambrose, is a consultant on “The Pacific” and conducted interviews that were used for the screenplay.

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

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