Catch-22 is getting a new lease of life as a brand new adaptation hits British screens next week. The drama was made by US streaming service Hulu, who has been making original series to rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon. This new version of Catch-22 follows on from the critically-acclaimed 1970 Mike Nichols film but the long-form nature of television will explore the original source text in further depth.
Catch-22 concentrates on young American soldier and bombardier John Yossarian (played by Christopher Abbott), who is desperately trying to complete the requisite number of missions to be sent home from the frontline during the Second World War.
However, each time he seems to hit the target, the number gets raised by his superiors and he is forced back into the horrors of war.
Yossarian is suffering an existential crisis as he seeks to survive and find any means to get home.
CATCH-22 RELEASE DATE, CAST, TRAILER, PLOT
His constant attempts to be sent home are undermined by his nihilistic senior officers who send young men indiscriminately to their deaths without even batting an eyelid.
The dark comedy sees Yossarian, who tries to be declared mad, getting caught in the paradoxical catch-22.
Put simply, catch-22 means if he thinks he’s insane then he can’t be and just doesn’t want to fly into battle. Conversely, those who are truly mad will continue to fly their vessels and drop bombs regardless of their mortality because of their mental state.
Catch-22 has a large ensemble cast with George Clooney playing antagonist Scheisskopf, who has a penchant for perfect marching and gesticulating wildly in his more irate moments and Hugh Laurie also stars as Major de Coverley.
Alongside the Hollywood heavyweights are the likes of newcomers Christopher Abbott as John Yossarian, Daniel David Stewart as Milo Minderbinder, Lewis Pullman as Major Major Major Major, Rafi Gavron as Aarfy Aardvark and Graham Patrick Martin as Orr.
Other cast members include Kyle Chandler as Colonel Cathcart and Grant Heslov as Doc Daneeka.
When does Catch-22 start on Channel 4?
Catch-22 will be starting on Channel 4 in the UK on June 20 and will be airing weekly.
There are a total of six, hour-long episodes in Catch-22.
Hulu dropped Catch-22 in America all in one go back in May but it’s unclear whether Channel 4’s streaming platform All 4 will be releasing all episodes for audiences to binge.
Speaking about joining Catch-22, star and executive producer George Clooney told media including Express.co.uk: “I loved the script.”
“You don’t get to read many screenplays that are this good,” he continued, hailing writers Luke Davies and David Michôd for “cracking the book” in a new way.
Meanwhile, Hugh Laurie joked about signing up: “When the emperor sends a signal across the water, you drop whatever it is you’re doing. You answer the call. If what you’re happening to be doing is nothing, it’s a little bit easier.”
He continued: “But I like everyone else loved the book. For me, and I’m sure for a lot of other people, it was a holy text, particularly if you read it young and respond to Yossarian’s rebelliousness – and his struggle for survival is immensely appealing and powerful and it stays with you for your entire life.”
Laurie described the script as “astonishing” and praised the writers for choosing a different approach.
Catch-22 starts on Channel 4 on June 20 at 9pm