Catch-22 will be crossing the pond. Channel 4 has boarded Hulu’s event series, which is based on the Joseph Heller novel and hails from George Clooney, after striking a deal with Paramount Pictures Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution.
“I’m very excited to be working with Channel 4 to bring the classic Catch-22 to their channel. I couldn’t think of a better place to be doing this”, said George Clooney, who in addition to co-starring, directs and executive produces Catch-22.
Under the pact with Paramount, rather than being a straight acquisition, Channel 4 is contributing to select aspects of the development of the project. Catch-22 will premiere on this side of the pond in 2019, shortly after it debuts state-side.
“We are very excited to be bringing this exceptional new series to the UK through this agreement with Channel 4”, said Dan Cohen, President, Worldwide Television Licensing, Paramount Pictures. “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.”
Catch-22 tells the story of the incomparable, artful dodger, Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a US Air Force bombardier in World War II who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy, but rather 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 his military assignments, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister 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.
The event series is being penned by Luke Davies and David Michod and is being produced by Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. The primary cast includes George Clooney (The Ides of March), Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street), Hugh Laurie (The Night Manager) and Christopher Abbott (Girls).
Casting is still underway for the production and just last week news broke that Graham Patrick Martin (Major Crimes), Daniel David Stewart (The Band’s Visit), Austin Stowell (Battle of the Sexes), Rafi Gavron (Counterpart), Pico Alexander (A Most Violent Year), Jon Rudnitsky (Saturday Night Live), Gerran Howell (Young Dracula) and Lewis Pullman (Battle of the Sexes) had signed on for starring roles. Clooney directs and serves as an executive producer alongside Davies, Grant Heslov, Richard Brown and Steve Golin.
“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″, said Ian Katz, Director of Programmes for Channel 4. “David Michôd and Luke Davies have produced a script that crackles with irony, anger and humanity. I’m thrilled that it will be a part of our stellar 2019 drama offer.”