George Clooney’s Catch-22 series is closing in on a deal with streaming service Hulu. Clooney will himself star in, direct and executive produce the six-episode series. Catch-22 will mark Clooney’s first time starring in a TV series since he left ER in 1999.
Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22, published in 1961, stands as one of the most important books of the 20th Century. The book’s non-linear narrative mostly follows Captain John Yossarian, a bombardier in WW2. The satirical novel looks at the lives of airmen as they struggle to maintain sanity amid the madness of war. Director Mike Nichols adapted the book into a film in 1970 with Alan Arkin in the lead. The influence of Heller’s novel pervades many films of the ’60s and ’70s, especially Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H.
George Clooney will now endeavor to bring Catch-22 to the small screen. The Wrap reports that Hulu is closing in on a deal with Anonymous Content and Paramount Television to stream the series. Luke Davies (Lion) and David Michôd (War Machine) co-wrote and will executive produce. Clooney himself will direct and executive produce together with long-time partner Grant Heslov. Clooney will also tackle the role of Colonel Cathcart, a straight-arrow officer whose hunger for promotion leads him to place his men in increasing danger.
Catch-22 sees George Clooney continuing to pursue his passion for making films based on historical material. Clooney’s directorial debut came in 2002 with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, based on Chuck Barris’ screwy memoir. Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck, about revered journalist Edward R. Murrow, scored 6 Oscar nominations. The actor/director stumbled however with 2008’s Leatherheads, a comedy about the early days of pro football. He stumbled again with the WW2 film The Monuments Men. Clooney will again mine WW2 in Catch-22, a work whose strange structure and surrealist touches will challenge his directorial abilities. In addition to Catch-22, Clooney will also reportedly develop a Watergate series for Netflix.
Hulu continues rolling out new original series in their bid to compete with the aforementioned Netflix. Hulu already scored a major win when their series The Handmaid’s Tale nabbed an Emmy for Best Drama Series. The Handmaid’s Tale will return later this year for Season 2. In February, Hulu debuts The Looming Tower, a 9/11 drama with Jeff Daniels. Hulu also recently ordered a horror anthology series from Blumhouse TV. Snagging George Clooney’s Catch-22 would give the streaming service another prestigious limited series with big possibilities.
Source: The Wrap