Catch-22: Your first look at the biggest show of 2019
Here’s what we know so far about George Clooney’s six-part TV adaptation.
What’s it about?
Based on Joseph Heller’s satirical 1961 novel, Catch-22 is the story of the incomparable, artful dodger Captain John Yossarian – a U.S. Air Force bombardier in Italy during World War II who is furious that thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him.
But his real problem is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service.
Yossarian tries many ways to leave the army, including claiming insanity, but he is blocked by Catch-22 – a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule which specifies that a concern for one’s own safety is the sign of a rational mind; a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions. Thus a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty.
The novel coined the term ‘Catch-22’ to describe a situation a person can’t get out of because of contradictory rules.
Who’s making it?
The miniseries is a co-production between the U.S. network Hulu, the U.K.’s Channel 4 and Sky Italia.
It is being executive produced by Richard Brown (True Detective) and George Clooney and co-written by Oscar-nominated writer Luke Davies (Lion) and Australian David Michod (Animal Kingdom).
Clooney will also direct two of the six episodes and play the character Scheisskopf.
Who’s in it?
The main character Yossarian will be played by Christopher Abbott, who you might recognise from the TV series Girls and The Sinner.
Alongside George Clooney, the big star power comes in the form of The Night Manager’s Hugh Laurie, playing Major de Coverley, Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler as Colonel Cathcart, and Grey’s Anatomy’s Tessa Ferrer as Nurse Duckett.
When does it start?
In New Zealand, the series will be fast-tracked to TVNZ OnDemand premiering Saturday 18 May, same day as the U.S.