George Clooney takes command in “Catch-22,” Hulu’s limited series adaptation of Joseph Heller’s acclaimed war satire. The streaming network announced a May 17 release date at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday — prime Emmy position for the Oscar-winning pedigree behind the miniseries. Not only does the Clooney direct and executive produce the series — his first-ever for a streaming service — with partner Grant Heslov (“Argo,” “Good Night, and Good Luck”), but he also portrays the colorful role of Sheisskopf.
In the six-part series set during World War II, Christopher Abbott plays US Air Force bombardier Yossarian, who just wants to stay alive and get back to civilian life, if only the ambitious Col. Cathcart (Kyle Chandler) will stop increasing the number of required combat missions.
The cast also includes Hugh Laurie as the mysterious Major de Coverley, Giancarlo Giannini as Marcello, Daniel David Stewart as mess officer Milo Minderbinder, Rafi Gavron Captain “Aarfy” Aardvark, Austin Stowell as the optimistic Nately, Graham Patrick Martin as bomber pilot Orr, Gerran Howell as the underage Kid Sampson, Jon Rudnitsky as the calm pilot McWatt, Kevin J. O’Connor as Cathcart’s right-hand man Korn, Pico Alexander as the booksmart Clevinger, Tessa Ferrer as Nurse Duckett, Lewis Pullman as Major Major, Josh Bolt as the perpetually bored Dunbar, Jay Paulson as the timid Chaplain, and Julie Ann Emery as Marion.
“Catch-22” was last produced for the big screen in 1970, when director Mike Nichols brought Buck Henry’s script to life alongside a cast of Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, and Martin Sheen. Released the same year as “M.A.S.H.,” the film didn’t live up to comparisons or expectations, but still netted a WGA Award nomination for Henry’s script.
Joining Clooney and Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures in executive producing Hulu’s “Catch-22” are Anonymous Content’s Richard Brown and Steve Golin, as well as Luke Davies and David Michôd, who also serve as co-writers on the series.
Clooney directed two episodes of the adaptation, while Heslov and Ellen Kuras also directed two apiece. Watch the trailer for “Catch-22” below:
”Catch-22” premieres on Hulu on Friday, May 17.