Kyle Chandler has been tapped as a lead opposite Christopher Abbott in Catch-22, Hulu’s high-profile limited series co-directed and executive produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Chandler will play Colonel Cathart, the role Clooney was originally slated to take on. Clooney will now play the supporting part of Scheisskopf, which would give him more time to focus on his directing and producing duties.
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, it tells 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.
Chandler’s Colonel Cathcart is a full Colonel that takes himself very seriously. In the 1970s Mike Nichols movie, the part was played by Martin Balsam. Clooney’s Scheisskopf is a training commander at cadet school in California. Ambitious, humorless, inept, angry, sadistic – and above all else, obsessed with parades and winning parade tournaments. At cadet school he makes the men’s lives a living hell. Deep down he’s just an angry idiot, so there’s no real danger he’ll ever be sent overseas. And then: he is sent overseas. As the Head of Operations for the entire Mediterranean Theater. And straight back into Yossarian’s life.
In addition to Abbott and Clooney, Chandler joins previously cast Hugh Laurie who plays Major de Coverley.
Clooney and Heslov will direct the series alongside Ellen Kuras. Clooney and Heslov executive produce via Smokehouse Pictures alongside Davies and Michôd as well as Anonymous Content’s Richard Brown and Steve Golin. Kuras is a producer.
Chandler won a lead actor in a drama series Emmy for his portrayal of Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights and earned two more Emmy nominations for Netflix’s Bloodline.
Recently seen in hit comedy Game Night, Chandler next co-stars in Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s drama First Man from director Damien Chazelle and recently wrapped production on the next installment in the Godzilla MonsterVerse. Chandler is repped by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.