More than two decades after his breakout role in ER, George Clooney is returning to television.
Clooney will star as Colonel Cathcart in a miniseries adaptation of Catch-22, Joseph Heller’s seminal wartime satire, Variety reports. The novel follows John Yossarian, a bombardier stationed in Italy in World War II. Cathcart is his commanding officer, a man so desperate to impress his superiors that he keeps the required number of bombing missions his men need to complete before they can go home. This is particularly vexing for Yossarian, whose only desire is to go home.
The novel has a theme of logical paradoxes—it gets its title from the company doctor describing the “catch” of trying to leave the army due to insanity. Namely, any soldier “would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them.” That’s the catch-22.
This kind of absurd, paradoxical humor seems to fit right in with Clooney’s aesthetic—Clooney will also direct the limited series, his first time directing television (he has directed several movies, including the recent Suburbicon). Paramount TV and Anonymous Content are behind the adaptation, written by Luke Davies and David Michôd. They plan to begin filming in early 2018.