After the monumental success of The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu is ramping its acquisition of more original content by ordering another television adaptation of a novel.
'Catch-22' TV Series
During a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association, the streaming platform confirmed that it has acquired Catch-22, a limited series based on the war novel written by Joseph Heller. Two-time Academy Award winner George Clooney will direct the high-profile project with Grant Heslov, who previously worked with the actor as a screenwriter in Suburbicon and The Ides of March. Luke Davies (Lion) and David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) will pen the script.
Hulu made a straight-to-series order that will be comprised of six episodes. The series is expected to begin production sometime this year. A premiere date has not been set.
Catch-22, set in Italy during World War II, follows a man named Yossarian, an air force bomber who becomes very annoyed because a lot of people he has never met want to kill him.
"But his real problem is not the enemy, but rather his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service," the synopsis from Hulu reads. "Yet, if Yossarian makes any attempt to avoid his military assignments, he'll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule 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 insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat mission, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty."
Clooney will play the role of Colonel Cathcart, the novel's de facto antagonist. The actor who will play the lead role of Yossarian has not been announced as of this writing.
This is the third limited series from Hulu, which, since last year, has been expanding its digital library with original content to compete with Netflix. The streaming service also ordered 11.22.63 from Star Wars' J.J. Abrams and The Looming Tower, which will premiere on Feb. 28.
Catch-22 was previously adapted for the big screen by director Mike Nichols. It starred Alan Arkin, Charles Grodin, Art Garfunkel, and Martin Balsam. It also featured a cameo appearance by Orson Welles, legendary actor and celebrated director best known for the cinematic classic Citizen Kane. The 1970 movie received glowing reviews from critics.
Return To TV
The upcoming limited series will be Clooney's first television role since the end of the medical drama ER in 2009, noted Deadline. The NBC series created by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) is also now available on Hulu.