George Clooney to front and direct Catch-22 mini-series


George Clooney is set to double up as star and director for an upcoming TV mini-series based on Joseph Heller’s classic novel Catch-22.

The six-part adaptation is slated to begin filming in early 2018, and George will direct from a script written by Luke Davies and David Michod, who will also executive produce the show.

Set in Italy during World War II, the story centers on a U.S. Air Force crewman who must perform dangerous missions to complete his service. When he attempts to give up active duty, he discovers a puzzling rule prevents him from being dismissed.

Heller’s book was turned into a 1970 Mike Nichols movie, starring Alan Arkin, who featured in Argo, which Clooney produced with his longtime filmmaking partner Grant Heslov.

Heslov will also help Clooney direct the TV series, in which the movie star will take on Martin Balsam’s film role, Colonel Cathcart.

It’s clearly a project close to Clooney’s heart as he recently confessed he’d no longer be taking on acting work unless a role really grabbed him. The Hollywood star has appeared in films for over two decades but admits he’s no longer focused on work in front of the camera – and noted he no longer considers himself a leading man.

“Look, I acted for a long time and, you know, I’m 56. I’m not the guy that gets the girl anymore,” he told The Times.

The star also revealed he can afford to be selective when it comes to film roles, as he no longer needs to support himself or his family with work in front of the camera.

“If somebody’s got Paul Newman in The Verdict, I’d jump (at a role like that),” he added. “But there aren’t that many like that. Acting used to be how I paid the rent, but… I don’t need money… I have money, so I can fight to make movies I want to make. If you look at what I’ve been in over the past 15 years, for the most part they weren’t going to get made if I didn’t do them. Nobody was going to make Good Night, and Good Luck, Michael Clayton or Up in the Air, and I fought to get those out there.”
But he’s keen to keep directing movies, despite poor reviews – Suburbicon, the latest effort from new father-of-two was released last month (Oct17). The comedy, which was blasted by critics, debuted to poor box office numbers.