George Clooney at the Venice Film Festival, September 8, 2009 – Wikimedia /Nicolas Genin
CAIRO – 16 April 2018: George Clooney is stepping down as a major star of the upcoming "Catch-22" series, switching with "Friday Night Lights" actor Kyle Chandler for the role of Colonel Cathcart.
Clooney, who also serves as an executive producer and co-director for the series, has instead opted to take on a smaller role in order to focus better on his work behind the scenes according to Variety. He will be portraying instead the character of Scheisskopf, an incompetent training commander who takes himself too seriously.
"Catch-22" is a six-part series adapted from the 1961 novel of the same name by Joseph Heller. A beloved classic of American literature, the story is a satirical look at World War II that focuses on the escapades of Captain Yossarian, who will be portrayed by Christopher Abbott in the Hulu series. Yossarian is unhappy with the basic fact of war in that hundreds of strangers are trying to kill him. Worse still, his Commander, Catchcart, keeps sending him out on increasingly dangerous missions, which he must complete to see his service through.
Yossarian's attempts to avoid these missions fail due to an insidious bureaucratic rule, the titular "Catch-22"; caring for your safety in a dangerous situation is what a rational person would do, but an insane person is one who continuously goes into danger despite the risk, which is what happens in war regardless. "Catch-22" had previously been adapted into a 1970 film, with Alan Arkin as the role of Yossarian and Martin Balsam as Colonel Cathcart.
Chandler had previously starred in Netflix's "Bloodline" series, with "Catch-22" marking his second appearance in a streaming series. His most notable role so far is in "Friday Night Lights" as football coach Eric Taylor. His other roles include starring in Ben Affleck's 2012 thriller "Argo", Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" in 2013, and Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester by the Sea" in 2016.
"Catch-22" will also be produced by Paramount TV, which plans to shoot on-location to be as accurate as possible to the novel, even utilizing one of the last few World War II planes.