Giancarlo Giannini has signed on for George Clooney’s limited series adaptation of Catch-22 for Hulu, Deadline reports.
The Italian actor is best known for his role as French spy René Mathis in the James Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, as well as for his extensive list of Italian film credits, including the 1977 acclaimed film Seven Beauties, for which Giannini was nominated for an Oscar. Giannini will play the role of Marcello, the owner of a brothel in Rome.
Set at an Air Force squadron in Italy, Catch-22 describes the story of Captain John Yossarian, an unwilling participant in the bureaucracy and violence of World War II. Yossarian has to complete a certain number of missions to go home, but his inhumane superiors continually raise the number of missions that he and the other officers must complete to do so, meaning no one ever goes home.
The Hulu adaptation of Joseph Heller’s absurdist and satirical 1961 novel will also star Emmy-winner Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Bloodline) as the indecisive Colonel Cathcart, Christopher Abbott (Girls, It Comes at Night) as Yossarian and three-time Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie (House, The Night Manager) as Major de Coverley.
Clooney originally intended to play Colonel Cathcart, but opted out of starring in the series to focus more on his off-screen responsibilities. Catch-22 marks Clooney’s first return to regular television since his departure from ER in 1999. Clooney will direct the series alongside Grant Heslov (who co-produced Argo) and Ellen Kuras (best known as the cinematographer for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).
Filming for the limited series began this week in Sardinia. Catch-22 is scheduled to premiere on Hulu in 2019, streaming in six parts.
The series is being written by Luke Davies and David Michôd. Clooney, Heslov, Davies and Michôd will act as executive producers for Smokehouse Pictures, alongside Richard Brown and Steve Golin of Anonymous Content. Kuras will produce the series.
Check back for updates on Catch-22 as production continues.