Following the WWII drama “Greyhound” and the sci-fi film “Finch,” Tom Hanks, his Playtone production company, and producing partner Gary Goetzman have enjoyed a good relationship with Apple TV+. And now, it looks like all parties are taking that working partnership to the next level. Deadline reports Hanks, Goeztman and Playtone have signed an overall multi-year television deal with the streaming service and, as part of the agreement, will be making a sequel to the aforementioned WWII naval thriller “Greyhound,” which starred Hanks as a commanding officer of the USS Keeling, and was released in 2020.
Hanks making Apple TV+ a permanent home makes sense. As producers, Hanks and Steven Spielberg, the team behind the “Band of Brothers” series, moved their third WWII series, “Masters of The Air,” from HBO to Apple TV+ after a deal couldn’t be worked out a few years back. Cary Joji Fukunaga (“True Detective,” “No Time To Die”) is directing multiple episodes with Austin Butler (“Elvis,” “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”), part of the show’s young cast focusing on American bomber pilots during the war. Deadline mentions that “Master Of The Air” has finally completed shooting, so hopefully, we’ll see that series launch later this year.
Together, Hanks and Spielberg have been behind TV projects such as “Band of Brothers,” “The Pacific,” and “John Adams.” This news certainly sounds like HBO has lost a longtime creative partner, and Apple has landed yet another high-profile notch in its belt.
“Greyhound” premiered on Apple TV+ in 2020 and was directed by Aaron Schneider from a screenplay by Hanks that was an adaptation of the C.S. Forester novel “The Good Shepard.” The WWII film’s supporting cast consisted of Elizabeth Sue, Stephen Graham (“Boardwalk Empire”), Rob Morgan (“Winning Time,” “Don’t Look Up”), and others.
If you’re unfamiliar with the original film, here is the official synopsis:
In a thrilling story inspired by actual events from the Battle of the Atlantic, Tom Hanks stars as a first-time captain who leads a convoy of allied ships carrying thousands of soldiers across the treacherous waters of the “Black Pit” to the front lines of WW2. With no air cover protection for five days, the captain and his convoy must battle the surrounding enemy Nazi U-boats in order to give the allies a chance to win the war.
It’s unclear what future television projects Playtone will be bringing to Apple, but clearly, there’s a lot in the works. “Greyhound” wasn’t adored by critics, and it wasn’t cheap to make, but clearly, by Apple’s metrics, enough people saw it that it’s worth paying for another go-round.