Paramount Television and Anonymous Content are putting together a new adaptation of Catch-22, bringing in A-list star George Clooney in to star in the six-part limited series. The project does not yet have a network home, but it wouldn't be surprising to see it find one soon, now that such a big talent has come aboard, marking Clooney's return to the small screen for the first time since his iconic role in the long-running NBC hit ER, which he starred in from 1994 to 1999.
This six-episode limited-series was written by Luke Davies (Lion) and David Michod (War Machine), which will be shopped to networks and streaming services in December, although there is no mention if there are any front runners yet for the project at this time. Catch-22 is expected to fetch a sizable fee from buyers when it hits the market, especially with George Clooney attached and a story based on an iconic novel that has been adapted before. It remains to be seen how long it will take for the project to attract more cast members or a network/streaming home.
The project is based on the Joseph Heller book of the same name, which is set in Italy during World War II and tells the story of Yossarian, a U.S. Air Force bombardier trying to fulfill his service requirements so he can go home. The original novel followed the paradox of the qualifications of airmen who felt they were mentally unfit to fly but yet were not obligated to do so. At the same time, those who applied to stop flying were sane enough to fly, creating the Catch-22 of its title. The book brought the phrase "Catch-22" into the English vernacular, referring to an unsolvable logical puzzle.
The novel was previously adapted into a 1970 movie released by Paramount Pictures, which starred Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin and Bob Newhart. Richard Dreyfuss later starred in an ABC half-hour pilot produced by Paramount Television in 1973 that was issued a series order. George Clooney will portray Colonel Cathcart, who was played by Martin Balsam in the original movie. Clooney will also direct alongside his SmokeHouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov (Good Night, and Good Luck, Argo, The Ides of March), who will also executive produce. The episodes were co-written by Davies and Michod, who will also executive produce with Anonymous Content's Richard Brown and Steve Golin.
Paramount Television is also behind Netflix's 13 Reasons Why and Maniac starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, from director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective). They are also behind TNT's upcoming show The Alienist, and they recently put Girls Code into development, which has been described as a female-driven tech comedy which is moving forward at FreeForm, with Paul Feig attached to direct. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of this series coming together, and hopefully we'll have more on this series soon.