Following on from January’s announcement that Hulu has picked up George Clooney’s six-part TV adaptation of Joseph Heller’s classic novel Catch-22, we now have word that Christopher Abbott (The Sinner, Girls) has signed on for the lead role.
The limited series will see Abbott portraying U.S. Air Force bombadier Yossarian, “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.”
In addition to directed the series, Clooney will star in the role of Colonel Cathcart, and is also executive producing with his producing partner Grant Heslov through their Smokehouse Pictures banner.
Heller’s Catch-22 was previously adapted for the big screen in 1970 by director Mike Nicholas, where Yossarian was played by Alan Arkin. Richard Dreyfuss also took on the role in 1973 for a CBS TV pilot which failed to make it to series.