Catch-22 is finally being adapted for the small screen (Picture: Hulu/Channel 4)Having originally found fame on the small screen, George Clooney is heading back there as he stars in a new TV adaptation of the classic novel Catch-22.
The Oscar-winning star not only appears onscreen in the World War II set satire, but has also acted as executive producer and directed some episodes – marking only the second time that the book has been adapted following the 1970 movie version.
He admitted that he initially wasn’t sure about the project, but a read of the script changed his mind.
‘We got a call, somebody said “do you want to do Catch-22”? And we were like ‘F**k no, we’re not stupid.
‘Then we read these screenplays and we thought, ‘Well, you don’t get to read many screenplays that are this good,’ he explained.
Following its debut on Hulu in the US last month, Channel 4 is airing the series in the UK – and here’s what you need to know about it.
When does Catch-22 start on Channel 4?
Catch 22 starts on Channel 4 on Thursday 20 June at 9pm.
There are six episodes in total, with subsequent instalments airing at the same time on Thursday nights.
What is Catch-22 about and what does the title refer to?
Catch-22 is based on the 1961 novel by Joseph Heller and tells the story of Captain John Yossarian, a US Air Force soldier serving in World War II who is desperate to complete his service and leave.
However he finds himself unable to do so because of the titular ‘catch-22’ clause – which dictates that pilots who are mentally unfit to fly do not have to continue, but those who apply to leave the Air Force are deemed mentally fit enough to continue.
The phrase has proven so popular that since the novel was published it’s become a byword for people who find themselves in impossible situations that they cannot escape because of contradictory rules.
The novel – which has a non-linear structure and jumps back and forth in time, while telling the story from the viewpoint of different characters – sees Yossarian subsequently sent on more and more missions, leaving him fearing his commanding officers more than he fears the enemy.
Who is in the cast of Catch-22?
George Clooney has executive produced and directed the show (Picture: Getty Images)The cast is led by actor Christopher Abbott as John Yossarian.
Abbott is probably best known for his role as Charlie Dattolo in Girls, although he’s got a string of notable credits which include appearances in Nurse Jackie, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Enlightened and The Sinner. On the big screen you might have seen him in the likes of Whisky Tango Foxtrot and First Man.
He’s joined by Hugh Laurie (House, The Night Manager) as Major de Coverley, Bloodline’s Kyle Chandler as Colonel Cathcart and Giancarlo Giannini (Casino Royale) who plays Marcello.
Clooney, meanwhile, stars as the hapless training commander Scheisskopf – and his appearance marks the first time he’s been seen on TV since ER came to an end in 2009.
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