Masters of the Air: Release date, trailer, cast & plot

Cameron Frew
Austin Butler in Masters of the AirApple TV+

Masters of the Air, the next follow-up to Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s Band of Brothers, is nearly here – so, here’s what we know, from its release date and trailer to cast, plot, and more.

Television’s second golden age is commonly agreed to have begun with The Sopranos in 1999. David Chase’s landmark series translated the cinematic appeal of mob movies to the small screen and paved the way for a renewed industry-wide approach to how stories were told beyond movie theaters.

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While there’s plenty of examples of the successes that followed, Band of Brothers may be the most significant, heralded as one of the greatest war movies ever made – and it’s not even a movie. Nine years later, Hanks and Spielberg re-teamed for The Pacific, exploring WWII away from the European theater of operations.

The two titans have come together again for Masters of the Air, rounding out their wartime trilogy – so, here’s everything we know.

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Masters of the Air release date: When’s it coming out?

Masters of the Air will premiere on January 26, 2024, on Apple TV+.

The series will have a two-episode launch before airing weekly until its finale on March 15.

Development on the series was first reported in 2012, but it wasn’t confirmed by HBO until a year later. The network also confirmed the return of Spielberg and Hanks, alongside Gary Goetzman as executive producers.

Updates were few and far between for six years – and then came the shocking announcement: HBO wasn’t moving forward with Masters of the Air, but Apple had picked it up for its burgeoning streaming platform, making it the first project under its in-house Apple Studios production company.

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In a pricey echo of its predecessors, which cost $325 million combined, the new series is believed to have a budget between $200-250 million. Production kicked off in February 2021, though filming was hindered by the pandemic. It was originally slated for release in spring 2023, but it’s since been delayed to the beginning of 2024.

Is there a Masters of the Air trailer?

Yes, the first trailer for Masters of the Air dropped on November 9. Check it out below:

Masters of the Air cast: Who’s in it?

Masters of the Air features another star-studded ensemble, including:

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  • Austin Butler as Major Gale Cleven
  • Callum Turner as Major John Egan
  • Anthony Boyle as Major Harry Crosby
  • Nate Mann as Major Robert Rosenthal
  • Raff Law as Sgt. Ken Lemmons
  • Barry Keoghan as Lt. Curtis Biddick
  • Ncuti Gatwa as 2nd Lt. Robert Daniels
  • James Murray as Major Chic Harding
  • Kai Alexander as Sgt. William Quinn
  • Freddy Carter as Lt. David Friedkin
  • Fionn O’Shea as Sgt. Steve Bosser

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Hanks persuaded Butler to take on the lead role after starring alongside him in Elvis. “You have immersed yourself so deeply in Elvis that, for your mental health, it would be wise to go straight into something else,” Butler recalled being told, as per The Times.

“If you just jump off the train, you might have emotional whiplash… and, you know, I’ve got this thing I’m producing.”

In another interview with Joe, Butler said he’d spent “a lot of time” with Keoghan on the series. “We box quite a bit actually… he’s such a sweetheart,” he said.

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The cast haven’t discussed the show in tremendous detail, mostly due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike which prohibits stars from promoting upcoming projects, but we can expect more from them in the coming months as the strike is expected to wind down.

No Time to Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga has helmed four of the episodes, with Captain Marvel’s Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and Dee Rees directing the rest.

Masters of the Air plot: What is it about?

Masters of the Air is based on the true story of an American bomber group in World War II known as the “Bloody Hundredth.”

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Based on Donald L. Miller’s book of the same name, it follows the 100th Bombardment Group of the US Army Air Forces “as they conduct perilous bombing raids over Nazi Germany and grapple with the frigid conditions, lack of oxygen and sheer terror of combat conducted at 25,000 feet in the air,” as per Apple.

“Portraying the psychological and emotional price paid by these young men as they helped destroy the horror of Hitler’s Third Reich is at the heart of Masters of the Air. Some were shot down and captured; some were wounded or killed. And some were lucky enough to make it home. Regardless of individual fate, a toll was exacted on them all.”

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In a statement, Goetzman called the project a “salute to the brave men of the 8th Air Force, who, through their courage and brotherhood, helped defeat Nazi Germany in World War II.”

“Tom and Steven have always wanted to visualize cinematically what our author Don Miller has called, this ‘singular event in the history of warfare.’ We’re thrilled that Apple TV+ has given us the opportunity to combine the efforts of so many talented people, on-screen and behind the camera, to tell this important story.”

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Masters of the Air arrives on Apple TV+ on January 26, 2024. You can check out our other Band of Brothers coverage below:

About The Author

Cameron is Deputy TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He's an action movie aficionado, '80s obsessive, Oscars enthusiast, and a staunch Scot. He earned a First-Class Honours Degree in Multimedia Journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University, accredited by the NCTJ and BJTC. He began his career at UNILAD, starting as a Junior Journalist and becoming Entertainment Editor prior to joining Dexerto. You can contact him at cameron.frew@dexerto.com.