Tom Hanks had a teeny, tiny cameo in Band of Brothers, but before the show even began, he was getting his hands dirty during the production process. What started as an innocuous location scouting trip, ended up with Hanks falling through the floor of a World War II bunker, but it was all worth it.
We all know Tom Hanks is responsible for some of the best movies of all time, but a lot less is said about his work behind the scenes in making one of the best TV series you’ll ever see. Band of Brothers is essentially ten episodes of perfection, bringing all the key elements of the best war movies to the small screen with the help of Steven Spielberg.
Alongside Spielberg, Hanks was a producer on the show, and in a piece from New York Magazine on the development of Band of Brothers, it’s said the esteemed actor “fell through the floor while checking out a World War II bunker in Germany.” Luckily, Hanks “wasn’t badly hurt” and ended up with only a dislocated shoulder (sounds painful enough, to be honest).
It speaks to the authenticity of the show that Hanks was out there in Germany exploring actual wartime bunkers (that were clearly not all that safe). I think it also speaks volumes that Hanks himself was doing the scouting, rather than sending a team out there in his stead. The man is nothing if not committed to his craft.
All that effort, and Spielberg made him sit in the background of one scene. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound! I joke, of course: I’m sure that if Hanks wanted a bigger role in the show, he would have gotten it in a heartbeat.
It’s not like we were starved of talent with Band of Brothers, though. The epic small screen war story featured the likes of Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, Damian Lewis, David Schwimmer, Andrew Scott, James McAvoy, and Simon Pegg. There was even room for Colin Hanks, son of Tom, to make it into the lineup of soldiers.
Looking at that list, I wonder how many casting agents for superhero movies were just simply clicking on the Band of Brothers IMDb page and randomly picking a star from the show. The X-Men have a lot to thank Band of Brothers for, it seems.
Band of Brothers may be over, but we’ve got a list of five shows like Band of Brothers you can watch next. There’s also Masters of the Air coming soon, which is a sequel to the classic show. That’ll be new to Apple TV Plus in January 2024, but if you can’t wait until then, you could start thinking about new movies instead, like Venom 3, which will star Band of Brothers alum, Tom Hardy.