George Clooney Returns To TV With ‘Catch-22’

It was just last week that George Clooney was saying that, following some lucrative business deals, he could afford to be choosy about his work. “Look, I acted for a long time and, you know, I’m 56. I’m not the guy that gets the girl anymore,” he told The Sunday Times. “Well, yeah, I shouldn’t be the guy that gets the girl. But, look, if somebody’s got Paul Newman in ‘The Verdict,’ I’d jump. But there aren’t that many like that. Acting used to be how I paid the rent, but I sold a tequila company for a billion fucking dollars. I don’t need money.”

Well, Clooney may not need the money, but clearly doesn’t want to just be sitting around the house.

Even though he’s coming of the critical and commercial bomb “Suburbicon,” Hollywood still has plenty of faith in Clooney, as he’s set to direct and star in limited series adaptation of Joseph Heller‘s classic “Catch-22.” The project is set up over at Paramount TV and Anonymous Content, and intriguingly, Luke Davies (“Lion“) and David Michôd (“Animal Kingdom,” “The Rover,” “War Machine“) have written the episodes for the six-part series. Here’s the book synopsis:

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.

Mike Nichols previously adapted the novel for his 1970 film starring Alan Arkin, but a series arguably lets everyone go a bit deeper with the material. Clooney will be taking the role of Captain Cathcart (previously played by Martin Balsam), and production will get underway in early 2018. No word yet on which network will scoop this up, but you probably be certain all the major players are taking a look. [Variety]

  • Daniel Thron

    I love the book, love the Nichols movie, and look forward to the Clooney version. Also, the commentary on the dvd with Nichols and Soderbergh is awesome.