You can miss Catch-22, but if you do, George Clooney won’t be happy. Don’t make George Clooney unhappy.
After a series of poor box office outings, George Clooney will head to the small screen for his next directorial effort. According to The Tracking Board, he will direct and star in a new adaptation of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, one of the most significant novels of our time. Not bad for the source material, but can Clooney actually make this a success?
Catch-22 will be produced by Paramount TV and Anonymous Content. It is currently being shopped around to different networks as a six-episode limited series. Joining in on the adaptation duties is Luke Davies and David Michod.
The novel follows the life of Captain John Yossarian and his squad mates who are part of the 256th Squadron. Their base of operations is on the island of Pianosa, west of Italy. The title Catch-22 refers to a specific instance that says if a pilot is unable to fly an aircraft he should resign, but if he is aware enough to resign due to mental illness he is fine to continue his duty. The phrase has certainly grown much greater than ever expected and is a daily part of a conversation for many.
Clooney is eyeing the role of Colonel Cathcart, who is not the main protagonist of the story, but a pivotal part nevertheless. Interestingly, this would be his first time acting for a television series since he departed ER in 2000 (he did return for the finale in 2009 briefly). Many would say that television is becoming the new home for ambitious projects. It is usually far less of an investment for studios to finance a limited-series than a feature film and projects like Catch-22, Big Little Lies, Reese Witherspoon’s Morning Show Drama are attracting A-list talent. Perhaps a project of this nature is exactly what Clooney needs to get back into the winning formula that worked for his successful directorial efforts.