Sky Italia has signed on to co-produce Catch-22, which will be executive produced and directed by Academy Award and Golden Globe winner George Clooney, who will also co-star.
Based on the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller, Catch-22 is produced for Hulu by Paramount Television, Anonymous Content, Clooney and Grant Heslov (Argo) on behalf of Smokehouse Pictures. The series will be exclusively aired in Italy in 2019 by Sky Atlantic. In the U.S., it will be available on Hulu. Thanks to a newly signed deal, Channel 4 will bring the six-part drama to audiences in the U.K.
The series is set in Italy during World War II. It follows the story of the incomparable, artful dodger John Yossarian (played by Christopher Abbott, The Sinner, Girls), a bombardier for the U.S. Air Force. 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 series also stars Hugh Laurie (House, The Night Manager), who will play Major de Coverley, a squadron executive officer on Pianosa air base. Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Manchester by the Sea) is playing Colonel Cathcart, a commander who repeatedly ups the number of required combat missions before a soldier may return home, maddening Yossarian.
“It’s exciting to be working with Sky Italia to help bring Catch-22 to television. It’s a terrific partnership for a classic book,” said Clooney.
“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,” Clooney added.
Andrea Scrosati, executive VP of programming at Sky Italia, said: “We are really proud to be part, with Sky Italia, of this new, ambitious project, with first-rate production partners, a creative team and outstanding actors who represent excellence in the international arena. We are also very proud that a project like Catch-22—a story that has shaped the mindsets of entire generations and still continues to thrill them—is filmed almost entirely in Italy, which in recent years has been able to fully show its creative and production potential, even at an international level. We were the first to believe in such a potential and creative heritage that, also thanks to projects such as The Young Pope, are now recognized and appreciated abroad too.”
“We are extremely pleased to be working with Sky Italia to bring this exciting new project to Italian viewers,” said Dan Cohen, the president of worldwide television licensing at Paramount Pictures. “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.”
Ian Katz, director of programs at Channel 4, added; “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.”
“We are very excited to be bringing this exceptional new series to the U.K. through this agreement with Channel 4,” Cohen commented. “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.”