In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Steven Spielberg's epic World War II drama series Band of Brothers, HBO will launch a brand new 12-part podcast examining every episode of what is considered one of the greatest miniseries of a generation, and it begins on the exact date the series premiered back in 2001 with special guest Tom Hanks. The double Oscar winner has long since been known as a chronicler of world events at the time the world went to war. Hanks will discuss the series with host Roger Bennett when it premieres on September 9th.
"Anybody seeing this for the first time will be saying, alright, take away the amount of celebration of nostalgia, this is an examination of the human condition" says Tom Hanks of the Band Of Brothers miniseries. "What do you think? What would you do?"
The initial episodes come as a double header next week, with a prologue and "Currahee" first episode which has been co-written by Hanks. Ron Livingston also appears on the Currahee podcast as it focuses on the story of "Easy" Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the Division. The series will release new episodes weekly, and will feature more of the cast involved in the series, such as Billions lead Damian Lewis.
Additional to the discussions with those involved in the creation of the series, the podcast will take a deep dive into the creative process that went on behind the scenes to bring the horrors of war and the camaraderie of the "band of brothers" to life in a way that allowed the series to continue to be seen as one of the best war based series ever put on screen. Host Roger Bennett described the podcast as something that had to do, as the series itself made such an impact on him when he first saw it.
"Band of Brothers was such an important show to me", Bennett said to Deadline. "Like thousands, I watch it every year ritually. The face of an America I grew up believing in. Of everyday heroism, selflessness, and Global Leadership."
Of course, the timing of the series coincided with the terror attacks of 9/11, making it seem so much more of a reminder of what had already been lost to war all those years ago, as the world headed into a war of a different kind, but with the same risks, the same loss of life and the same overall outcome of many lives being changed forever. However, while those attacks are still fresh in the memory of many, now twenty years later, many of the memories of World War II and the sacrifices made by those who fought have been lost to time, something that Bennett noted.
"In June 2020, there were approximately 300,000 Second World War veterans still alive," Bennett said. "By June 2021, that number had dwindled to just 100,000. The youngest who once served are now in their late nineties. Indeed, of Easy Company, only two men survived. Col. Edward Shames is now 99. Bradford Freeman just turned 97 this month. Mr. Freeman parachuted into Normandy, Market Garden, and fought at Bastogne where he was wounded. He was able to return to his unit when Easy Company took Hitlers Eagles Nest.
When you read those numbers it becomes clear why the Band of Brothers story becomes more important as the years pass. These remarkable men are no longer alive to pay witness and tell their stories themselves. It is simply unfathomable to imagine what would happen if their narrative fades in our national consciousness".
The podcast will debut on HBO Max, Spotify and other podcast providers on September 9, and the whole Band of Brothers series can be streamed now on HBO Max.