31 August 2001
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are joining forces again in Band of Brothers, a ten-part miniseries telling the story of Easy Company, a unit in the 101st Airborne division, from training in Georgia until the end of World War II. The series is based on the book Band of Brothers by Mississippi writer Stephen E. Ambrose, who interviewed dozens of members of the company for the historical study.
Hanks and Spielberg, who in Saving Private Ryan (1999) depicted on screen a hitherto unseen grittiness and brutality of combat conditions in World War II, are executive producers for the miniseries, set to premiere September 9 on HBO. Ambrose himself serves as a co-executive producer.
Drawn from hours of interviews with survivors, as well as soldiers journals and letters, Band of Brothers tells the story of Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, a unit whose men took 150% casualties and became true American heroes.
What I wrote in Band of Brothers has something of the quality of an as told to book, Ambrose has written. Something I learned long ago was always let the men speak for themselves. Quote them whenever possible. They were there. I was not.
Each episode of the series opens with filmed comments by the actual veterans of Easy Company about things pertinent to the episode.