There were a set of books we were all assigned in high school that are now hot TV properties. Kenneth Lonergan's adapted Howards End for the BBC, and now David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) and Luke Davies (Lion) are bringing Joseph Heller's Catch-22 to the small screen.
Previously made into a feature film by Mike Nichols (The Graduate) - where Alan Arkin played the lead, Col. John Yossarian - the six-episode series is being produced for the Paramount Network by Anonymous Content, and has now signed George Clooney to co-star as Colonel Cathcart.
For those who don't remember writing reports on Joseph Heller's book, Catch-22 is set in Italy during World War II. It focuses on Yossarian, an Air Force bombardier who's furious due to the bureaucratic rule known as Catch-22, which specifies that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers which are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind. A man is considered crazy if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty.
Clooney’s co-producing with partner Grant Heslov, who will also direct a portion of the series. No word on who else will helm episodes (though one hopes Michôd will step behind the camera* and Clooney will stay the hell away from it**), though the series is eyeing an early 2018 start, so expect more very soon. Between this and Waco, the Paramount Network is really looking to get into the prestige game.
*The Rover rules.
**Suburbicon does not rule.