The six episode series, adapted from the 1961 Joseph Heller novel of the same name, is set in Italy during World War II. It focuses on Capt. John Yossarian, a US Air Force bombardier who is furious because the bureaucratic rule known as Catch-22, which specifies that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers which are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind; a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty.
“’Catch-22′ is a rare story that has withstood the test of time, not only as a literary masterpiece, but as a story that still resonates in today’s political and social conversation,” said Hulu chief content officer Joel Stillerman. “These are exactly the types of stories we want to be programming at Hulu, and we couldn’t be happier to partner with George Clooney, Paramount TV and this phenomenal group of creatives to bring one of the most well-known books of all time to viewers in a way that has never been seen before.”
Clooney will star in the role of Colonel Cathcart. The series is being eyed for an early 2018 shoot. Clooney’s producing partner Grant Heslov will also direct a portion of the series. The episodes were co-written by Luke Davies and David Michôd, who will also executive produce. Richard Brown and Steve Golin will executive produce for Anonymous Content along with Clooney and Heslov under their Smokehouse Pictures banner.
The role will mark Clooney’s first regular television role since he broke out on the medical drama “E.R.” in the early 1990s. “Catch-22” was previously adapted into a film in 1970 starring Alan Arkin as Yossarian and Martin Balsam as Cathcart. Mike Nichols directed the film with Buck Henry adapting the novel for the screen.
The acquisition continues a string of successes for Hulu, which saw its series adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale” walk away with 10 Emmy Awards. Hulu also ended 2017 with more than 17 million U.S. subscribers for its subscription on-demand and live TV packages.