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Wright Brothers Miniseries Takes Flight for HBO

by Jef Dinsmore
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Playtone Productions the longstanding production house with HBO content, like BAND OF BROTHERS and JOHN ADAMS, has another miniseries planned for the network. It will focus on the story of Wilber and Orville Wright and their place in aviation history. The project will be based on a David McCullough book entitled “The Wright Brothers” which tells the story of the guys from the bicycle shop who went on to launch the first piloted flyer.

Playtone is known for carefully selecting rich source material from which to build a foundation for its cinematic stories. Since the source material comes from McCullough it is sure to be a through and acclaimed work in its own right. Here is what Amazon.com, a perfect place to make a purchase for the tome, has to say about it. WrightBros_Book

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?


David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading.


When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their “mission” to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.


People_WrightBrothersIn this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

This project is bound to be another high profile experience for HBO viewers. There is no mistake that the producing team of Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman have a strong track record with HBO. However, they are also super busy with not only developing this production, but also on the schedule from Playtone are LEWIS AND CLARK and THE MIGHTY EIGHTH. These are all big productions for which we are eager to see on our TV screen. How will they get them all done? We will have to wait and see.   

(Source: Deadline)

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Matthew Styczynski December 17, 2021 - 5:22 pm

The Wright Brothers were true American heroes in the literal sense and should be immortalized in any capacity. Here it is 118 years to the date of their historic flight. What is the status of the mini series of the Brothers supported by Tom Hanks? If I can be of any assistance please let me know. Thank you Brothers

Jef Dinsmore December 18, 2021 - 9:13 am

That concept was bandied about six years ago and nothing has come to fruition. If the work ever takes flight Tom Hanks and Playtone would likely offer it to Apple+ now. I say that since Playtone has a deal with that service now, thus MASTERS OF THE AIR has moved there.


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