Band of Bombers

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman—the producers of HBO's Band of Brothers and its partner The Pacific—have joined forces with Apple TV+ to bring audiences Masters of the Air, a miniseries that follows the heroic actions of the 100th Bomb Group, a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber unit in the Eighth Air Force, during World War II.

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Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg reunite for long-awaited WWII drama 'Masters of the Air,' celebrating brave men of the 'Bloody Hundredth'

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Following the massive popularity of "Band of Brothers," "The Pacific," and "Saving Private Ryan," Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have reunited to release "Masters of the Air." The upcoming drama documents the efforts by the 8th Air Force that made unimaginable sacrifices to help defeat Nazi Germany in World War II.

In what has been a work in progress for a decade, the long-awaited "Masters of the Air" finally has a premiere date. Originally confirmed by HBO in January 2013, "Masters of the Air" will premiere on Apple TV+ on Jan. 26, 2024.

The upcoming World War II drama series is being produced by Hanks, Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman.

"Masters of the Air" stars Austin Butler – who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the 2022 movie "Elvis." The series also features Academy Award-nominated Barry Keoghan, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Nate Mann, Rafferty Law, Josiah Cross, Branden Cook, and Ncuti Gatwa.

The nine-episode streaming series is based on Donald L. Miller's book of the same name.

"'Masters of the Air' is a salute to the brave men of the 8th Air Force, who, through their courage and brotherhood, helped defeat Nazi Germany in World War II," executive producer Goetzman said in a press release. "Tom and Steven have always wanted to visualize cinematically what our author Don Miller has called, this 'singular event in the history of warfare.' We’re thrilled that Apple TV+ has given us the opportunity to combine the efforts of so many talented people, on-screen and behind the camera, to tell this important story."

The official synopsis of the series:

"Masters of the Air" follows the men of the 100th Bomb Group (the “Bloody Hundredth”) as they conduct perilous bombing raids over Nazi Germany and grapple with the frigid conditions, lack of oxygen and sheer terror of combat conducted at 25,000 feet in the air. Portraying the psychological and emotional price paid by these young men as they helped destroy the horror of Hitler’s Third Reich, is at the heart of “Masters of the Air.” Some were shot down and captured; some were wounded or killed. And some were lucky enough to make it home. Regardless of individual fate, a toll was exacted on them all.
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The 8th Air Force ventured deep into Nazi territory in an attempt to handicap Germany's war machine. However, the daylight bombing campaign proved to be extremely dangerous.

During a mission to bomb German ball bearing factories on Oct. 14, 1943, the 8th Air Force suffered so many casualties that the day was known as "Black Thursday." U.S. B-17 and B-24 heavy bombers flew over Nazi Germany without any fighter protection because the smaller planes didn't have the extensive range like the massive four-engine bombers. The gamble proved to be tragic.

Fighter planes of the Luftwaffe induced devastating losses on the 8th Air Force – also known as the "Bloody Hundredth."

According to the National WWII Museum, "By the time the Americans returned home, they had lost 60 B-17s, another 17 were no longer airworthy, and an additional 121 received minor damage. That was only the material loss. The number of aircrew killed, wounded, or missing in action was more than 600, totaling almost 20 percent of the men sortied."

Despite the soul-crushing losses, the 8th Air Force adopted new tactics and America soon produced fighter planes with extended range to escort the Flying Fortresses.

The "Mighty Eighth" would continue to batter Germany's industrial centers to help cripple the Nazi's military production – unleashing 697,000 tons of bombs over 440,000 bomber sorties.

The destruction of Germany's infrastructure came at a steep price – 47,000 of the 115,000 U.S. Army Air Force casualties were from the Mighty Eighth.

The Mighty Eighth's brave men earned 17 Medals of Honor, 220 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 442,000 Air Medals.

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How The 8th Air Force Ruled The Skies Over Europe | Battle Honours | War Stories

Harrison Ford Gives Indiana Jones A Send-Off Worthy Of The Iconic Franchise

'Dial of Destiny' is the definition of an unnecessary sequel in theory, but the final product proves the disbelievers wrong.

REVIEW: 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny'

Steven Spielberg directed the first four Indiana Jones movies. He told James Mangold, the director of the just-released fifth installment, that the secret to making such a picture is that it's "a trailer from beginning to end." Meaning, I guess, that these wild action-adventure blockbusters should be nothing but highlights, with no lulls. This is a story Mangold has been telling as he promotes his Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, suggesting the idea was always in the front of his mind. "I wanted the chance to dive into this kind of full-on George-and-Steven old picture," Mangold has said, "and give the audience an adrenaline blast." (George is George Lucas, who produced the other four movies and originally named the character after his dog.)

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REVIEW: ‘The Fabelmans’

For decades, in interviews, Steven Spielberg spoke slightingly of his father Arnold. He said his father had never showed him affection, and “I don’t want to repeat that error. I know that I always felt my father put his work before me. I always thought he loved me less than my work, and I suffered as a result.” Since Arnold lived a very long time, he likely read this quote and many, many others like it over the course of his son’s astonishing five-decade career.

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Though Steven Spielberg is 'terrified' of global warming, his private jet has emitted 4,465 tons of CO2 in 2022

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg is the owner of a Gulfstream G650, a private jet that has a minimum price tag of $38.9 million but can cost up to $60 million. The annual budget for flying the G650 is reportedly in the neighborhood of $2.9 million. Spielberg's private jet consumes 500 gallons of fuel per hour. The American driver, by way of comparison, uses on average 656 gallons of fuel a year.

The Yard Group analyzed flight data from the ADS-B Exchange compiled by Jack H. Sweeney's Celebrity Jets and determined that Spielberg's plane has burned at least $116,159 worth of jet fuel during the 16 trips across 17,000 miles it has flown since June 23. This figure is reportedly a gross underestimate, as fuel and distance metrics for an additional three trips have not been included in the final tally.

Spielberg's expulsion of exhaust — 4,465 tons of CO2 in 2022 alone — has prompted some criticism, especially as the Hollywood director has long been an outspoken climate critic and global warming fretter.

When promoting his film "Ready Player One" in 2018, Spielberg claimed global warming "terrified" him.

Steven Spielberg: "Global Warming is not a Political Trick" YouTube

Spielberg noted that "global warming is a scientific reality. It's not a political trick. It's a true piece of real, measurable, quantifiable science." He suggested that when it comes to global warming, "everybody has to be held responsible," particularly those who "go blithely through life" without concerning themselves with their impact on the environment.

Including flights from Westhampton to Van Nuys, California, and from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, to Teterboro, New Jersey, the Hollywood director's jet has emitted over 179 tons of carbon dioxide since late June. The average yearly carbon footprint for an American is 16 tons.

Spielberg is not the only climate-conscious celebrity who recently generated a great deal of carbon emissions.

For the 170 flights her jet has embarked on since January, totaling 15.9 days in the air, Taylor Swift was named "biggest celebrity CO2e polluter of the year." Her flight emissions for the year are an estimated 8,293.54 tons.

According to the Yard Group, Floyd Mayweather and Jay-Z are runners-up for biggest celebrity polluters, with 7,076.8 and 6,981.3 tons of CO2 emissions, respectively.

Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey also make the top ten list of celebrity polluters. Kardashian's 4,268.5 tons of emissions from 57 flights constitute 609.8 times more than the average person emits in a year. Winfrey's 68 flights generated 499 times more carbon emissions than the average person produces in a year.

Celebrities are not only leaving large carbon footprints by their air travel.

Leonardo DiCaprio, alleged to be "one of the world's top climate change champions," chartered and vacations on a $150 million superyacht, which costs $293,897.50 to fuel up and produces an estimated 524.7 pounds of C02 per mile.

Steve Milloy, a former energy official on former President Donald Trump's transition team, spoke to Fox News about the disconnect between celebrities' climate rhetoric and their actions: "There's not a single climate activist who is not a complete hypocrite about all this. ... Everything they do is just total hypocrisy. I would say they have no self-awareness, but they just don't care. All this is really meant to control us."

Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope’ Is Almost The Great American UFO Story

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‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ Needs Fewer Teeth And More Philosophy

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