HBO mini 'Pacific' sets sail


"The Pacific," Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman's ambitious follow-up to their Emmy-winning World War II miniseries "Band of Brothers," has begun production in Australia for HBO Films, Playtone and DreamWorks TV.

Jon Seda, originally cast in a supporting role, has been tapped to play one of the three central characters, John Basilone. He replaces the previously cast Val Lauren.

The 10-hour "Pacific" tracks the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines -- Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Basilone and Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) -- across the vast canvas of the Pacific, from the first clash with the Japanese in the jungles of Guadalcanal to the triumphant return home after V-J Day.

"Pacific," slated to debut on HBO in 2009, is being directed by Carl Franklin, Jeremy Podeswa, Tony To, Tim Van Patten and Graham Yost. To and Yost also serve as co-executive producers.