We first heard about George Clooney's plan to bring a miniseries version of Catch-22 to screens last year. Things have moved on apace, with streaming service Hulu jumping into snag the rights and now Hugh Laurie added to the cast.
Adapted from Joseph Heller's 1961 novel (originally turned into a film by Mike Nichols in 1970), Catch-22 focuses on Captain John Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a US Air Force bombardier 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 avoid the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a bureaucratic rule 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. Clooney is on to play Colonel Cathcart, while Laurie will take on the role of Major de Coverley, the squadron executive officer on Pianosa air base.
David Michôd and Luke Davies wrote the scripts, with Michôd, Clooney, Grant Heslov and Ellen Kuras on to direct episodes. Laurie, last seen in Hulu's Chance and The Night Manager, will be seen as Mycroft Holmes in the new comedy Holmes And Watson, due to hit UK cinemas on 7 December.
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