Both broadcasters have come on board the adaptation of the Joseph Heller novel, which stars Clooney, Bloodline’s Kyle Chandler, The Night Manager’s Hugh Laurie and Girls’ Christopher Abbott.
The drama follows Captain John Yossarian (Abbott), a U.S. Air Force soldier in World War II who can’t understand why thousands of people who have never met him want to kill him. Desperate to impress his superiors, Colonel Cathcar (Chandler) keeps raising the numbers of the missions his men have to fly, but Yossarian is driven half-mad by his will tolive. He wants to complete his service and leave, but his efforts are blocked by Catch-22 — a ridiculous bureaucratic rule that pilots don’t have to fly if they are certified insane, but unfortunately for the men the same rule also states that being driven mad by fear is a rational emotion, which therefore means the individual is sane and able to carry on with the mission.
Clooney plays Scheisskopf, a training commander based at the cadet school in California who isn’t the most likable man and doesn’t put his cadets’ interests before his own career. Laurie plays Major de Coverley.
The drama is produced by Paramount Television, Anonymous Content and Smokehouse Pictures and exec produced by Clooney, Grant Heslov, Richard Brown, Steve Golin, Luke Davies and David Michod. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’s Ellen Kuras directs with Clooney and Heslov.
The six-part series is set to air on Channel 4 and Sky Italia in 2019.
Clooney said it was “very exciting” to work with C4 and Sky Italia. “I couldn’t think of a better place to be doing this,” he said. “It’s a terrific partnership for a classic book.”
Said Ian Katz, Director of Programmes of Channel 4: “It’s hard to imagine a work that speaks more directly to the frequently absurd times we live in, and to the growing sense of individual distrust of institutions, than Catch-22.”
Andrea Scrosati, EVP Programming at Sky Italia said: “We are very proud that a project like Catch-22 –– a story that has shaped the mindsets of entire generations and still continues to thrill them — is filmed almost entirely in Italy, which in recent years has been able to fully show its creative and production potential, even at an international level.”
Said Dan Cohen, President of Worldwide Television Licensing at Paramount Pictures: “We are extremely pleased to be working with Channel 4 and Sky Italia to bring this exciting new project to viewers,” With an outstanding cast and award-winning creative team, we are confident that this adaptation of Catch-22 will resonate with a wide international audience.”