If you’ve followed the news at all today, you know Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen abruptly resigned amid tension in the Trump administration over its failure to stop Central American migrants from crossing the southern border.
President Donald Trump tweeted news of Nielsen’s departure at 6:02 p.m. ET. He wasted no time lining up an acting replacement and immediately announced on Twitter: “Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for DHS. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”
“When George and I came aboard this, we sort of talked about the idea that there’s never really a bad time to talk about the absurdity of war,” Heslov said onstage Sunday at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys.
He continued, “There are some absurd things that are happening, as we sit here literally at this very moment, like if you missed it on Twitter, something happened 20 minutes ago.”
Based on the popular Joseph Heller novel, Catch-22 tells the story of artful dodger Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a U.S. Air Force bombardier in World War II 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.
Producer-director Ellen Kuras said the series explores the abuse of power.
“One thing we wanted to bring out was the insanity and the absurdity with what happens with people who are in power and what they do when they abuse that power,” Kuras explained.
Luke Davies and David Michôd wrote the teleplay. Davies talked about the difficulty in adapting a television series from a book with nearly four dozen characters.
“There are about 40 characters in the novel,” he said. “I whittled it down to about 15. It was really hard making decisions about what to leave out of the novel.”
Still, executive producer Richard Brown said Davies got to “the heart” of the material.
“We made an agreement with Paramount and Luke disappeared for a few months, came back with these fantastic scripts that really came back to the heart of what Heller was writing about,” Brown said.
The cast also includes Kyle Chandler, Hugh Laurie, Giancarlo Giannini, Daniel David Stewart, Rafi Gavron, Austin Stowell, Graham Patrick Martin, Gerran Howell, Jon Rudnitsky, Kevin J. O’Connor, Pico Alexander, Tessa Ferrer, Lewis Pullman, Josh Bolt, Jay Paulson, Julie Ann Emery and Grant Heslov.
Abbott said he had read the book a few times before joining the series, and tried to stay truthful to his character.
“It’s very challenging but the trick to it is just playing each moment truthful,” he explained.
Catch-22 comes from Paramount Television and is executive produced by Clooney and Heslov on behalf of Smokehouse Pictures, along with Richard Brown and Steve Golin on behalf of Anonymous Content.
Hulu has set Friday, May 17, for the premiere of all six episodes of Catch-22.