Behind 'The Pacific' -- Hanks, Spielberg discuss HBO miniseries
'The Pacific,' HBO's 10-part, $195 million miniseries debuts tonight.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The unsparing and visceral depiction of battle in their World War II collaborations is revisited by "The Pacific," a 10-part, $195 million miniseries debuting Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO. Also intact is their celebration of the American veteran.
But "The Pacific" carves its own path across a lesser-known theater of war with parallels to current conflicts. It also breaks the "Band of Brothers" mold by following its battered Marines home with a coda reminiscent of the classic World War II film, "The Best Years of Our Lives."
The challenge "was to take human beings and put them through hell and wonder how in the world they would approach the world when they came back," Hanks said.
"Part 10 is the first time we went for it," he said.
"We only told a partial story in 'Band,'" Spielberg said. "My own relatives were saying to me, 'We all fought in the Pacific. That's a different story. It was jungle warfare.'"
The challenge for executive producers Hanks, Spielberg and Gary Goetzman was that the U.S.-Japanese conflict sprawled across a series of remote islands and lacked the European landmarks that gave "Band of Brothers" an instant familiarity.
The men of "The Pacific" fought for dirt on Guadalcanal, New Britain, Pavuvu, Peleliu and Iwo Jima. The miniseries opens shortly after the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, follows the path of three young Marines and ends on the home front in 1946 after Japan's surrender.