Christopher Abbott (First Man) has been tapped as the lead in Catch-22, Hulu’s high-profile limited series co-starring and directed by George Clooney. Written by Luke Davies and David Michôd based on the seminal Joseph Heller novel, Catch-22 hails from Anonymous Content and Paramount Television.
Set in Italy during World War II, Catch-22 is the story of the incomparable, artful dodger Yossarian (Abbott), a bombardier for the U.S. Air Force, who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But 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 which 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.
In the 1970 Mike Nichols movie Catch-22, Yossarian was played by Alan Arkin. The character was portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss in a 1973 pilot for a potential Catch-22 TV series, which was aired by CBS.
Clooney will play Colonel Cathcart, and will direct the series alongside Heslov. The two executive produce via Smokehouse Pictures alongside Davies and Michôd as well as Anonymous Content’s Richard Brown and Steve Golin.
Abbott is probably best known for his role as Charlie Dattalo on HBO’s comedy Girls. He recently starred in Sebastián Silva’s Sundance pic Tyrel and is coming off a series regular role as Mason Tannetti in USA Network’s highly rated limited series The Sinner. Abbott is repped by CAA and Management 360.