Masters Of The Air is the latest instalment in the Band Of Brothers war drama series, and it's coming to Apple TV+ with a cast including US stars Austin Butler, Nate Mann and Freddy Carter, plus a host of young British talent, including Callum Turner, Raff Law, Tommy Jessop and Anthony Boyle. Fresh from directing the much-anticipated Bond movie No Time To Die, Cary Fukunaga has now taken charge of this ten-part series about the final year of World War Two.
Masters Of The Air tells the story of the actions of the US Army’s elite Eighth Air Force of the United States Army, who brought the war to Hitler's doorstep by bombing Berlin, Hanover, Liepzig and Dresden, destroying enemy targets like rail facilities and oil refineries, while also being expected to engage in air-to-air fighter combat at 25,000ft. The missions were highly dangerous and produced many heroes.
Here’s our guide to what we know so far about the Apple TV+ epic war series Masters Of The Air…
Masters Of The Air release date
Masters Of The Air has no release date yet as it's currently filming in the UK (see below), but we’ll update as soon as we find out more from Apple TV+.
Masters Of The Air filming locations
A former World War II airfield near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, was recently used as a Masters Of The Air filming location, as well as nearby Dalton Barracks. Meanwhile, a sprawling US Airforce base has been constructed for the upcoming drama at the site of a disused university and hotel in the Buckinghamshire countryside near Chalfont St Giles, at a cost of $7 million. This will be the large personnel hub of a US Army Air Forces airfield, and has a collection of full-sized Nissen Huts plus other outbuildings. The sleepy Berkshire village of Bray was filled with extras to film scenes at the Hinds Head pub.
In August 2021 filming moved to Oxford, around Radcliff square, the Bodleian Library and in Catte Street. Of course many of these locations are currently used for the hit ITV crime series Endeavour. In early September 2021 there was filming in the old town Hemel Hempstead, which has previously been used in the Netflix comedy After Life with Ricky Gervais.
Masters of The Air cast — Austin Butler as Gale Cleven
Austin Butler takes the main role in Masters Of The Air of American airman Gale Cleven. The California-born actor has previously had roles playing James "Wilke" Wilkerson in the TV series Switched At Birth, Tex Watson in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Jordan Gallagher in Ruby & The Rockits, Sebastian Kydd in The Carrie Dairies and Wil Ohmsford in The Shannara Chronicles.
Anthony Boyle as Major Crosby
Anthony Boyle is set to play Major Crosby in Masters of The Air. He’s just starred as Brian Wood in the BBC2 drama Danny Boy, based on the true life story of a soldier’s journey from hero to alleged war crimina. He's also appeared in Ordeal by Innocence, The Plot Against America and Derry Girls.
Callum Turner as Major John Egan
After the wartime bombing campaign depicted in Masters Of The Air, real life American Air Force hero Major John Egan served in Korea and the Far East. Then, after attending the National War College in Washington DC he was assigned duties in the Policy Division, Directorate of Plans. At 45, he died of a heart attack in 1961 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Callum Turner, who plays Egan, received a nomination for a Best Actor BAFTA for his performance in the 2019 thriller The Capture (BBCiPlayer and Peacock in the US, see below). He’s also known for starring as Theseus Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and as Frank Churchill in the 2020 film Emma.
Raff Law as Sgt Ken Lemmons
Jude Law’s actor son Raff will play Sgt Ken Lemmons in Masters of The Air. He’s recently took the lead role in Twist, the modern take on the classic tale of Oliver Twist, alongside Michael Caine, Rita Ora and Lena Headey, and has appeared in modelling campaigns for Dolce & Gabanna and Timberland.
Tommy Jessop, who was recently seen in Line of Duty as murder suspect Terry Boyle, is also among the cast. Although his role is yet to be announced, he recently teased on Twitter that a top secret project he was working on required him to learn boxing, sword fighting and fishing.
Other Masters of The Air cast...
Also starring in Masters of The Air are American star Nate Mann (Little Women, Ray Donovan) as Major Rosie Rosenthal. Louis Greatorex (Catch 22) plays Captain Joseph 'Bubbles' Payne. Freddy Carter (Shadow and Bone) plays Lt. David Friedkin, Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) plays Lt. Curtis Biddick, Sam Gittins (The Smoke) is Sgt William McClelland and Nikolai Kinski (son of late German actor Klaus Kinski) is Colonel Harold Huglin. Fans of musicals might be excited that Luke Baker, who starred as the school bully Dean in the West End stage version of Everybody's Talking About Jamie, will play Sgt. Vern M Best.
Is there a trailer?
As the series has only just started filming in Britain in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire a trailer for Masters Of The Air isn't yet ready to be released. We'll of course post it when ready!
What else do we know?
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are acting as executive producers of Masters Of The Air, while the series is being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who helmed the delayed Bond film No Time To Die. It’s been adapted from Donald L Miller’s book Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany, by John Orloff and Graham Yost, who penned Band of Brothers for TV.
A brief guide to Masters Of The Air prequel Band Of Brothers...
The 2001 war drama Band Of Brothers dramatised the history of the US Army’s "Easy" Company (part of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment). Over ten episodes it detailed their exploits during the war, starting with jump training, through to the Normandy landings and the end of World War Two.
At the time it was the most expensive TV series ever to have been made, and went on to win an Emmy and two Golden Globes for best series.
The show was created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and aired on BBC2 in the UK and is currently on BBCIPlayer and Sky Box sets. The all-star ensemble cast included Damian Lewis as Major Dick Winters, David Schwimmer as Captain Herbert Sobel and Ron Livingston as Captain Lewis Nixon. Dexter Fletcher, Colin Hanks and Marc Warren also starred.
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