Oscar-nominated actor Giancarlo Giannini is set for a co-starring role opposite Christopher Abbott, Hugh Laurie, Kyle Chandler and George Clooney in Catch-22, Hulu’s high-profile limited series directed by Clooney. Written by Luke Davies and David Michôd based on the seminal Joseph Heller novel, Catch-22 hails from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content.

Set in Italy during World War II, Catch-22 follows 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.

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Giannini will play Marcello, the proprietor of a brothel in Rome. He is weathered and once handsome but still debonair. He loves to challenge the young American soldiers about their patriotism, their worldview and their sense of history.

Clooney plays Scheisskopf and will direct the series alongside Grant Heslov and 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.

Giannini’s numerous credits include the role of Rene Mathis in Bond films Quantum of Solace (2008) and Casino Royale (2006). He’s had supporting roles in films such A Walk in the Clouds, Hannibal, The Dark and Man on Fire, among others. Giannini, who earned a Lead Actor Oscar nom for 1975’s Seven Beauties, also is known for dubbing of international stars in films released in the Italian market, such as Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Gerard Depardieu and Ian McKellen. Giannini was most recently seen in feature The Catcher Was a Spy and next will shoot Gavin J. Chalcraft’s After the War.