by Hilton Dresden | Hollywood Reporter | June 11, 2022
For Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, 1998’s Saving Private Ryan marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration focused on World War II epics. After that film won five Oscars, they teamed up on a wartime drama for the small screen. It would be HBO’s “most expensive miniseries,” with a budget in the realm of $120 million, THR reported.
Band of Brothers, a 13-hour dramatization of Stephen Ambrose’s best-seller, followed a brigade of World War II soldiers known as “The Easy Company,” a regiment within the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Each episode opened with audio testimony from a real veteran of the brigade before focusing on a member of the ensemble cast as they prepared for war and entered the field. David Schwimmer, at the height of his Friends fame, was joined by a group of relative newcomers including Damian Lewis in the central role of Lt. Winters, Scott Grimes, Matthew Leitch, Ron Livingston and Michael Fassbender. (Hanks served as executive producer with Spielberg and directed the fifth of the 10 episodes, but did not have a speaking role.)