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Old February 12 2013, 08:18 PM   #1
Gaith
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Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

So first Spielberg and Hanks gave us Saving Private Ryan, about a few soldiers. That's fine, nothing wrong with that... then they teamed up with HBO to give us the Army-themed series Band of Brothers. And then the triumvirate produced The Pacific, about the Marine Corps.

At this point, one could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that it was the Navy's turn to get the S-H-HBO WW2 spotlight, what with the Navy being arguably the most important branch of service during that particular time. But some sailor must have sat on Steven's glasses or made one too many "Run, Forrest!" jokes to Hanks at some point, because the semaphore signals have revealed that the next HBO WW2 miniseries will again honor non-floating (or sub-floating) warriors by focusing on aerial warfare over Europe, even though this material has been all but exhausted by the George Lucas-commissioned masterpiece Red Tails. (And what's more, the Air Force didn't even become a separate branch until after the war!)


Let's see... President Carter served in the Navy. Maybe the S-H-HBO boys would accept an apology from him for whatever it was wronged them? And give us a submarine or battleship-themed miniseries at last?

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Old February 12 2013, 08:25 PM   #2
Tom Servo
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

I assume the "masterpiece" portion of the Red Tails comment was jest...I hope.

I'm excited for this. I've always wanted to see a big budget WWII ariel combat miniseries, especially in line with BoB and The Pacific. However, I agree with you that I do hope at some point that they make a Pacific based Naval Miniseries. Just being able to see the Battles of Midway and Leyte Gulf with modern VFX work would be quite the experience. It would actually fit perfectly inline with what they have done so far, from the American perspective. They showed an example of ground combat in Europe in BoB, and an example of ground combat and island hopping in the west in The Pacific. Now they're going back to show the other major portion of the European campaign, the ariel war. I'd actually be kind of shocked if they didn't make a miniseries to show the last major portion of the war, the Pacific Naval Campaign.

I actually just finished reading The Admirals, which is a biography of the 4 Five-Star Admirals during the war, Leahy, Halsey, Nimitz and King. A miniseries based upon that book, and their lives would be extremely interesting.
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Old February 12 2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

I'm an Air Force brat and my brother and uncle both served in the Marine Corps. Navy sucks.

*hides from Emh's wrath *
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Old February 12 2013, 08:30 PM   #4
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

Meh, just go re-watch McHales Navy, it's all there... I would love to see an HBO mini-series about the Navy as well, and hopefully they'll get around to it as well, but personally the ariel warfare aspect of the war interest me more so I'm glad they're doing that.
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Old February 12 2013, 08:33 PM   #5
Skywalker
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

Yeah, I'm far more interested in the aerial theater as well, so I'm really looking forward to this. It would be cool if they eventually did a fourth miniseries focusing on the war at sea, though. That'd pretty much complete the set.
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Old February 12 2013, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

I would hope so too/ You COULD argue that even amongst big-budget miniseries, doing a one about the big naval battles would be the most expensive, as the use of CGI and practical effects to recreate them would be prohibitive. Every ship would have to be modeled extensively, plus plenty of big explosions, etc. I can imagine lots of greenscreen even during the non-combat parts of the episodes, or stormy days, etc.

That said, there are ways to cut corners too. Like in BoB, have the series follow one ship (perhaps a cruiser or even a destroyer - carriers would be tough to re-create and none exist anymore in a WWII configuration to use for practical filming) and her crew through the war in one or both oceans. There are plenty of biographical books that follow one ship in this manner (the carrier Enterprise was covered in documentary fashion in "Battle 360") and which could potentially be used.

Then again, it comes down to background too. Spielberg's dad was in the Army in WWII (USAAF it seems, a Communications Cheif for a B-25 bomber squadron) so this one would be close to Steven's heart. While Tom Hanks' dad doesn't seem to have served, Tom is known for extensively researching his parts - Jim Lovell was a Navy man but joined in the postwar, so he may not be a proper source for a WWII series.

I for one would love something about naval aviators in WWII - follow a single squadron from activation through to the end of the war, going through pilots, commanders, land assignments and aircraft along the way. Perhaps with this current one done, they'll have learned enough to give something like that justice.

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Old February 12 2013, 10:21 PM   #7
J.T.B.
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

Skywalker wrote: View Post
I'm an Air Force brat and my brother and uncle both served in the Marine Corps. Navy sucks.
Well, figure out how to defeat Germany or Japan without them and get back to us!

Kirby wrote: View Post
[...] personally the ariel warfare aspect of the war interest me more so I'm glad they're doing that.
Skywalker wrote: View Post
Yeah, I'm far more interested in the aerial theater as well, so I'm really looking forward to this.
The Pacific was not an "aerial theater"?!

Seriously, one for the AAF seems fair, as long as the navy gets a series somewhere in there. Of course the SW Pac, Med and CBI theaters will want their own series, too...

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Old February 12 2013, 10:25 PM   #8
Owain Taggart
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

I'm still waiting for someone to make a WWI drama focusing on the aces, something which would be exciting. Kind of tired of everything being WWII now. It's as if Hollywood has all but forgotten that war.
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Old February 12 2013, 11:04 PM   #9
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

Nah, Aces yes, WWI no. Anyone see "Flyboys"? Could be a while before anyone tries that again. There was a biopic (oddly, a German film shot in English) about Richthofen's story a couple years back; similarly maudlin IMO.

One theatre of air operations that hasn't really been covered is Korea: F-86 Sabres blasting away at Soviet MiGs with the same .50 cal guns used in the last war, but twice as fast and ten times as noisy. As exciting as the WWII dogfights, and IMO more visually exciting than watching F-4s launching missile after missle, or the Gulf War with Eagles firing at targets without even seeing them.

Incidentally, if you haven't seen "Dogfights" on the History channel, do so! It's a great docuseries about various exploits of fighter pilots through the last century (mostly American, but a few from other countries). This year we also have "Air Aces", which does the same thing but with more live action re-enactments featuring actual replicas in the air. Cool stuff.

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Old February 12 2013, 11:12 PM   #10
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
It's as if Hollywood has all but forgotten that war.
Look at the proportion of US involvement in WW1 and you'll see why.
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Old February 12 2013, 11:34 PM   #11
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

If Hanks and Spielberg really want to impress, he'd do something of that ilk from the Luftwaffe perspective. Depicting some Germans as "good" wouldn't really be new ground for him, and it would make for an interesting spin.

Aside from the Battle of Brittan, the B-17 corps, and the Tuskegee guys (all three of which have been done), there really weren't that many great allied areal tales in the European theater. At least, there wasn't nothing to compare to the German masters like Schnaufer, Hartmann, Marseille, etc.

Most of those guys were just men doing their job and some of them had interesting stories, Hartmann in particular. For starters, he is probably the single greatest fighter pilot of all time--even over Richthofen, Immelman, and the like. Other than having the most kills, his biggest claim to fame was he never lost a wingman. For anyone who's ever played the Ace Combat games, Yellow 13 was based on him.

However, many thought he was unfairly persecuted by the Russians after the war and made a martyr of. And eventually several American and British pilots came to his defense simply out of respect.
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Old February 12 2013, 11:48 PM   #12
J.T.B.
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

Skimmed over and missed this before:

Tom Servo wrote: View Post
I actually just finished reading The Admirals, which is a biography of the 4 Five-Star Admirals during the war, Leahy, Halsey, Nimitz and King. A miniseries based upon that book, and their lives would be extremely interesting.
It would be but it will never happen. Halsey was in action, but the other three... spending the war in planning meetings and staff conferences isn't going to translate well to the screen.

It was a really good book, though. I thought it might be too superficial, spread four ways like it was, but it actually holds up pretty well as a compliment to their principal bios.

Justin
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Old February 13 2013, 01:23 AM   #13
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
If Hanks and Spielberg really want to impress, he'd do something of that ilk from the Luftwaffe perspective. Depicting some Germans as "good" wouldn't really be new ground for him, and it would make for an interesting spin.

Aside from the Battle of Brittan, the B-17 corps, and the Tuskegee guys (all three of which have been done), there really weren't that many great allied areal tales in the European theater. At least, there wasn't nothing to compare to the German masters like Schnaufer, Hartmann, Marseille, etc.
Maybe not in terms of idividual air battles, such as the BAttle of Britain, but the air war of Europe is a different story. It was a hard fight for the Allied Air Forces to gain air supremecy over Europe.

As for Ariel tales in the European theatre during WWII:

The Dambusters Raid
The Bombing of the Tirpitz
Operation Jericho (the Raid on the Amiens POW camp)

True the above are RAF ones, but that's just off the top of my head, I'm sure I could find more if I looked.
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Old February 13 2013, 01:52 AM   #14
Gaith
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

Would you all leave teenage mermaids out of this?!
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Old February 13 2013, 04:03 AM   #15
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Re: Spielberg, Hanks and HBO's grudge against the Navy persists...

First thing I thought of is that filming WWII naval battles would be really expensive and CGI heavy.
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