In his first return to a television series since playing Dr. Doug Ross on “ER,” George Clooney will star, direct and executive produce Hulu’s adaptation of “Catch-22,” the 1961 Joseph Keller satirical novel that follows a U.S. Air Force bombardier during World War II. The novel is considered one of the most important of the 20th century, as its themes cover the insanity that rains down during a war.
And Clooney is the man bringing it to life. Since playing Dr. Ross for 15 seasons, Clooney has been writing and starring in film after film, taking breaks to do fun, rich-and-famous people things like develop his own line of tequila and attend the royal wedding last May. “Catch-22” will mark a return to TV.
Who better to join Clooney in the satire than Hugh Laurie, another medical drama favorite? His portrayal of Dr. Gregory House in “House” was a fan favorite during the eight seasons of the show; I don’t think a character has achieved such brilliant snark since. That sarcastic rancor that we came to know and love should fit in nicely with “Catch-22,” since the novel is all about what happens when soldiers give in to the absurdity of wartime.
Clooney told Reuters that the novel, and now the series, exist “to make fun of all the red tape and bureaucracy of war and the ridiculousness of war.” Hulu’s ordered a six-episode miniseries, mimicking things like Amazon’s “Homecoming” and HBO’s “Sharp Objects” in a trend that us short-attention-spanners aren’t mad about.
Going from scrubs and operating rooms to the (fictional) 256th Squadron may seem like quite the leap, but Clooney and Laurie, along with Kyle Chandler (you probably know him most recently from the Jason Bateman-led “Game Night”) look perfectly placed in the trailer.
Even if you’re not into “war movies” and the like, take solace in the fact that it’s supposed to be a pretty ridiculous story -- and the friendly (handsome) face of Clooney can’t hurt, right?
“Catch-22” will drop on Hulu on May 17.