Catch-22: George Clooney heads up star-studded Channel 4 Joseph Heller adaptation

The 1961 novel written by Joseph Heller is being adapted once again – but this time for television.

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As well as starring in the show, George is executive producing and directing parts of the show.

George is joined by Emmy winner Kyle Chandler, Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie, and Christopher Abbott.

Catch-22 follows the story of US Air force soldier Captain John Yossarian (played by Christopher Abbott) in World War II.

He is struggling to understand why thousands of soldiers want to kill him, while doing everything he can to survive the war.

Yossarian wants to complete his service and leave, but he is stopped by a Catch-22.

He is shocked to learn of a rule that state pilots don’t have to fly if they are certified insane, but the same rule also states that being driven mad by fear is a rational emotion, which means he is sane and able to continue flying.

George plays the role of Scheisskopf, a training commander based at the cadet school in California, while Hugh plays Major de Coverley.

The commander puts his own needs in front of his cadets, and only looks for results from his trainees.

The dark-humoured show maintains the anti-establishment tale that the book also boasts, and explores the “most profound of human fears”.

Speaking about his role, George said: “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.”

Channel 4’s Director of Programmes Ian Kats continued: “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.

“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.

Dan Cohen, the President of Worldwide Television licensing at Paramount Pictures added: “We are very excited to be bringing this exceptional new series to the UK through this agreement with Channel 4.

“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.”

Accompanying George in directing is Ellen Kuras of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” fame, and Argo producer Grant Heslove.

Produced for Hulu by Paramount Television, Catch-22 will take a more modern look at the show while retaining its timeless original story.

It will also keep the tragic satire that the novel is best known for.

Catch-22 is set to air on Channel 4 in 2019.

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