Three-time Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie has been cast as Major de Coverley in Hulu’s six-part limited series Catch-22 from Paramount Television, Anonymous Content, George Clooney and Grant Heslov (Oscar-winning producer of Argo), the streamer announced Tuesday. Laurie won his Globes for his performances in House, M.D. and The Night Manager.
Major de Coverley is a squadron executive officer on Pianosa air base. A noble, leonine presence, like some Civil War general, de Coverley dances to the beat of his own drum. Regarded with awe by the men, he spends his time pitching horseshoes, listening to jazz on his phonograph, mixing himself martinis and hiring apartments for the officers in every new city the Americans take.
The Catch-22 limited series is based on Joseph Heller’s influential novel of the same name, the story of the incomparable artful dodger, Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a U.S. Air Force bombardier in World War II who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. 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. 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 that are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind; a man is considered insane 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.
Academy Award winner Clooney will portray Colonel Cathcart, and will direct the series alongside Heslov. Ellen Kuras will serve as producer and direct two episodes, as well. Catch-22 will be executive produced by Clooney and Heslov on behalf of Smokehouse Pictures, along with Richard Brown and Steve Golin on behalf of Anonymous Content. Oscar nominee Luke Davies (Lion) and David Michôd are co-writers and executive producers on the series.
The limited series is currently in pre-production, with production slated to begin this May. Check back for more updates on Catch-22.