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Apple TV Plus’ Masters of the Air: Everything we know about Austin Butler, Steven Spielberg’s follow-up to Band of Brothers

This WW2 epic may be the best one yet

Austin Butler in Masters of the Air.
Apple TV+

In addition to being one of the greatest directors in movie history, Steven Spielberg has also had an illustrious career as a producer. One of the director’s favorite subjects, both in his own work and in the work he produces, has always been World War 2. Now, the director is set to produce another WW2 series to go right alongside The Pacific and Band of Brothers, two of the most acclaimed miniseries in history. Just as he did for Band of Brothers, Spielberg is reteaming with producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman for Masters of the Air, which will take a more aviation-oriented perspective to the war. Unlike those projects, though, this miniseries is headed for a streaming service: Apple TV Plus.

Now that the new miniseries is only a couple of months away, many are understandably curious about the details behind the series, including who’s in the cast, when the series is set to start streaming, and what the story is about.

Who is in the cast of Masters of the Air?

Masters of the Air is set to be led by Austin Butler, who has had a meteoric rise to stardom after earning an Oscar nomination for his work in last year’s Elvis. Butler already has several more movies in the hopper, including Dune: Part 2 and The Bikeriders, and now he’s teaming up with Spielberg to lead this miniseries.

Barry Keoghan is set to star alongside Butler. Another star on the rise, Keoghan also recently received his first Oscar nomination for his role in Banshees of Inisherin, and has also starred in The Green Knight and Eternals, among other projects.

The rest of the cast includes Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Anthony Boyle (Tetris), David Shields (The Crown), Ben Radcliffe (Pandora), Rafferty Law (Twist), Edward Ashley (The Terror), Elliot Warren (The Batman), Nate Mann (Licorice Pizza), and Darragh Cowley (The Essex Serpent). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the cast is dominated by men.

What is the release date for Masters of the Air?

Masters of the Air is set to be a total of nine episodes, with the first two being released on January 26, 2024, and another episode being released weekly through March 15, 2024.

What is Masters of the Air about?

Masters of the Air is adapted from a novel of the same name by Donald L. Miller. The series tells the true story of the American 8th Air Force, and will focus on pilots who put their lives on the line to battle Germans in the skies during the war. It’s adapted from Donald L. Miller’s 2006 bestseller Masters of the Air, and focused specifically on one bomber unit that sustained such heavy casualties they came to be known as the “Bloody 100th.” The series also draws from the memoir A Wing and a Prayer, which was written by Harry Crosby, a member of the “Bloody 100th” who is played by Anthony Boyle in the series.

The show’s official plot synopsis reads as follows:

“From Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman – the producers of Band of Brothers and The Pacific. During World War II, airmen risk their lives with the 100th Bomb Group, a brotherhood forged by courage, loss, and triumph.” 

Masters of the Air — Official Teaser | Apple TV+

Is there a trailer for Masters of the Air?

Apple TV+ released the first trailer for the series in November of 2023, which promises a series full of gorgeous cinematography and heartbreaking drama (not that we were expecting anything less). “When you look at it and don’t pay any attention to what’s really going on, it’s kind of beautiful,” Butler’s Major Gale “Buck” Cleven fittingly says as he watches bombs explode in the night sky.

A second trailer was released last month:

Masters of the Air — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

Who is making Masters of the Air?

While Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman will executive produce the series (and were responsible for Band of Brothers), the series is set to be written by Timothy Orloff. The first four episodes of the show will be directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who directed No Time to Die and is also responsible for the first season of True Detective. The following episodes will be directed by Dee Rees, Timothy Van Patten, Anna Boden, and Ryan Fleck. Needless to say, then, the show comes with a pretty incredible pedigree attached to it.

Where will Masters of the Air be available to stream?

Unlike The Pacific and Band of Brothers, which both aired on HBO, this series will be streaming exclusively on Apple TV+.

Joe Allen
Contributor
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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