By KEVIN H. MARTIN
Joseph Heller’s blackly-comedic 1962 novel Catch-22 had an immediate impact on both culture and the emerging counterculture, turning standard World War II tropes on their heads. Heller’s tale follows the travails of B-25 bombardier Yossarian, whose certainty that his time is up escalates as command continues to assign extra missions to his squadron. His every attempt to escape a grim fate circumvented by the fabled piece of government doublespeak known as Catch-22, Yossarian remains ensnared by its insidious red-tape brilliance – which ensures he remains on the active duty roster. But translating the instant classic to film proved difficult with Mike Nichols’ lavish 1970 film adaptation less than charitably received, and a 1973 TV movie (starring a pre-American Graffiti Richard Dreyfuss as Yossarian) that intended to be a pilot for a series did not result in additional episodes.
More than four decades later, Catch-22 has once again been brought to screens, this time as a six-episode series from Hulu, Anonymous Content and Co-Executive Producer George Clooney, who also directed two installments. DNEG TV handled the substantial VFX effort, overseen by Co-Supervisors Brian Connor and Dan Charbit.