by Greg Akers
In the category of things I'm looking forward to (along with James Ellroy's Blood's a Rover and the doc It Might Get Loud): The Pacific, the 10-episode miniseries follow-up to the magnificent Band of Brothers, is coming to HBO next year. The series is produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
Trailer. "I believe in ammunition."
The trailer indicates that The Pacific fits the formula Spielberg and Hanks have found with Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. Good thing I happen to like that formula.
The miniseries tracks the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines - Robert Leckie (played by James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda) - across the vast canvas of the Pacific. The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain forests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day.
Carl Franklin (HBO's "Rome"), Jeremy Podeswa (HBO's "Six Feet Under"), Tony To (HBO's "Band of Brothers"), Tim Van Patten (HBO's "The Sopranos") and Graham Yost (HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon") will direct episodes. Writers and additional directors will be announced as they are confirmed.
In addition to James Badge Dale ("The Departed"), Joe Mazzello ("Without a Trace") and Jon Seda ("Kevin Hill"), actors featured in THE PACIFIC include (in alphabetical order) Akos Armont, Jon Bernthal ("The Office"), Joshua Biton ("National Treasure"), Adam Booth ("Doctors"), Simon Bossell ("Hotel de Love"), Laurence Breuls ("Ghost Rider"), Tom Budge ("Last Train to Freo"), Linda Cropper ("McLeod's Daughters"), Brendan Fletcher ("Tideland"), Eamon Farren ("The Outsider"), Leon Ford (HBO's "Tsunami: The Aftermath"), Daniel Frederiksen ("Stingers"), Scott Gibson ("Lucky Number Slevin"), Joshua Helman, Ashton Holmes ("A History of Violence"), Andrew Lees, Rami Malek ("The War at Home"), Martin McCann ("Closing the Ring"), Ian Meadows ("Home and Away"), Toby Moore ("Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback"), Rohan Nichol ("All Saints"), Henry Nixon ("Happy Feet"), Keith Nobbs ("The Black Donnellys"), Annie Parisse ("Law & Order"), Sam Parsonson ("Love My Way"), Jacob Pitts ("The Novice"), Rupert Reid ("The Matrix Reloaded"), Mitch Ryan, William Sadler ("The Shawshank Redemption"), Gary Sweet ("Down in Splendor"), Anna Torv ("Young Lions"), Sandy Winton ("Two Twisted"), Dylan Young and Ashley Zukerman. Additional actors will be announced as they are confirmed.
THE PACIFIC is based on the books "With the Old Breed," by Eugene Sledge, which was hailed by historian Paul Fussell as "one of the finest memoirs to emerge from any war," and "Helmet for My Pillow," by Robert Leckie (recipient of the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Annual Award), as well as original interviews conducted by the filmmakers. Continuing the World War II oral history work begun by his father Stephen E. Ambrose (author of the book "Band of Brothers"), Hugh Ambrose serves as a consultant on the miniseries.
THE PACIFIC is produced by HBO Films in association with Playtone and DreamWorks Television; executive producers, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Gary Goetzman; co-executive producers, Tony To, Graham Yost; supervising producer, Bruce McKenna; producer, Gene Kelly; co-producers, Robert Schenkkan, George P. Pelecanos, Michelle Ashford.