‘Catch-22’: George Clooney and Cast Say the Hulu Adaptation ‘Unspools’ in a New Way

IndieWire | 2/11/2019 | Staff
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George Clooney, who executive produces, directs, and stars in Hulu’s upcoming series “Catch-22,” read Joseph Heller’s novel in high school and loved the style. But the scripts co-written by Luke Davies gave the Oscar winner a whole new appreciation for the story.

“It was really exciting to see why this [story] lasted and stood the test of time,” he said at Monday’s Television Critics Association press tour panel for the series. He added he was drawn to how the characters in this version “unspooled.”

Davies - Producer - Series - Heller - Source

Davies, who is also an executive producer on the series, wanted to do right by Heller’s source material, which he calls a “prophetic distillation of the anxiety condition” that America is currently feeling. His biggest challenge was adapting the novel’s chronology that shuttles back and forth between 1942 and 1944 in fragments. Part of reading Heller’s book is piecing together what has happened to its central hero, wannabe deserter Yossarian, and his fellow US Air Force personnel.

While Mike Nichols’ 1970 film adaptation tries to approximate this confusing chronology, Hulu’s version unfolds in order. Davies said he wanted to “crack the chronology” of the story so that “our characters could have actual emotional journeys from beginning to end” while still trying to “retain the kaleidoscope of madness from the novel… which flows through Yossarian’s perspective.”

Christopher - Abbott - YoYo - Bombardier - Combat

Christopher Abbott portrays Yossarian, aka YoYo, a bombardier who just wants to fulfill his required combat missions and then get back to civilian life. However, it feels like everyone, including his commanding officers Scheisskopf (Clooney) and Col. Cathcart (Kyle Chandler), are contriving to either keep him on base or kill him.

Abbott researched the conditions that real World War II bombardiers had to endure, such as actually spending time in the tiny nosecone of the plane....
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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