Good news arrives for all the curious who are looking forward to the arrival on Sky of Catch 22 the series co-produced by George Clooney e set in the Italy of the Second World War. In fact, thanks to an official press release today we can find out more about this series. Catch 22 is a war story and much more than a war story at the same time, a tale that shows how difficult it can be to fight when the only thought is to survive. There story is based on Joseph Heller's anti-militarist novel of the same name (1961), published in Italy by Bompiani with the title Comma 22, one of the classics of American literature of the twentieth century and a real coming-of-age novel for entire generations.
The series follows the adventures of a squadron of young American army aviators stationed in Italy, in a world marked by the Second World War and abuses of power. At the center of the story is Captain John Yossarian, played by Christopher Abbott, a US Air Force bomber who, to avoid war, had chosen to enlist in aviation hoping that World War II would last less than his training. Instead, he finds himself in the middle of the European chessboard, in spite of himself, with the sole aim of returning home as soon as possible. To be exempt from flying missions he declares himself mad, ending up running into the paradoxical Comma-22, which establishes that those who are mad can ask to be exonerated, but at the very moment in which he asks for it he proves that he is not mad. Because only a madman would want to keep flying on those missions.
In addition to George Clooney in the cast there are also Hugh Laurie, in the role of Major de Coverley, at the head of the squad stationed at the Pianosa base; Kyle Chandler it is Colonel Cathcart, the one who exasperates Yossarian by continuing to increase the number of missions and thus postponing his longed-for leave. But there are also some Italian characters like Marcello, played by Giancarlo Giannini, owner of a brothel in Rome: a lived man, once beautiful and still fascinating today. A pacifist with revolutionary ideas, Marcello will often come into conflict with young American soldiers.
The screenplay for the six episodes of Catch 22 is signed by Luke Davies, Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA Award Winner for Best Screenplay with Lion - The Road Home, and David Michôd, winner of the Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival with Animal Kingdom. The two are also executive producers along with Richard Brown and to the lamentation Steve Golin for Anonymous Content, and the aforementioned Clooney e Heslovper their Smokehouse Pictures.
Let's go now to find out the protagonists of Catch 22:
- JOHN YOSSARIAN (Christopher Abbott). Yossarian is a US Air Force bomber engaged, despite himself, in World War II. His real antagonist is not the enemy, rather it is his own army, which continues to increase the number of missions to complete to complete the service. Yossarian attempts in various ways to avoid his military assignments, but stumbles upon the infamous Catch 22.
- COLONEL CATHCART (Kyle Chandler). As ambitious as he is not very cunning, he is the officer in charge of Yossarian's squadron. Cathcart aims to become a general, so he continually tries to impress his superiors by proposing his men as volunteers for the most dangerous missions. It is he who decides from time to time the increase in the number of missions of Yossarian.
- TENENTE SCHEISSKOPF (George Clooney). Instructor commander at the California cadet school, Scheisskopf is ambitious, humorless, angry, sadistic, and most importantly, obsessed with parades and victory in military tournaments. Cadet school makes soldiers' lives hell on earth. Sent overseas as head of operations for the entire Mediterranean area, he will enter Yossarian's life ...
- MAJOR DE COVERLEY (Hugh Laurie). Chief officer of the squadron at the Pianosa air base, with a noble and proud presence, de Coverley marches alone, at his own pace. The military looks at him in awe, he spends his time throwing horseshoes, listening to jazz on his phonograph, making martinis, and renting apartments for officers in every new city the Americans conquer.
- MARCELLO (Giancarlo Giannini). He is the owner of a brothel in Rome just liberated by the Allies, a man of life and a beautiful time, but still fascinating. When it comes to patriotism, politics and history, Marcello, a pacifist with revolutionary ideas, never misses an opportunity to debate, even rather animatedly, with young American soldiers.
- MILO MINDERBINDER (Daniel David Stewart). He is the epitome of the Brooklyn native, with a fierce determination and a fixed idea of being able to carry out his grandiose plans. Milo is a profiteer, able to get by in any situation. Thus he manages to become supervisor of the mess hall to manage his fruitful business.
- NATELY (Austin Stowell). He is Yossarian's closest friend, one who has lived his young life without trauma and is in love with Clara, a prostitute from Rome.
- ORR (Graham Patrick Martin). He is Yossarian's tentmate and pilot of another plane in his squadron. Orr is clumsy and very popular. He is also an extraordinary all-rounder, with a specific skill that will guide him through the war.
- CLEVINGER (Pico Alexander). He is the pilot of another plane from Yossarian's squadron. The two enjoy each other's company, yet each believes the other is a fool to have the worldview he has.
- MCWATT (Jon Rudnitsky). Yossarian's pilot is a prankster who loves to fly low in his spare time, skimming over any structure. He thinks he knows how the world works and is not afraid to express his ideas.
- KID SAMPSON (Gerran Howell). He is McWatt's fearful and somewhat childish co-pilot, with an ordinary and insignificant life.
- AARFY (Rafi Gavron). He is the navigator, certainly not infallible, of Yossarian. The darkest part of his mind emerges from the telling of his stories.
- LIEUTENANT COLONEL KORN (Kevin J. O'Connor). A sadistic lieutenant who not only appreciates the fact that his men will probably die but, even more, that they will die in terror.
- DOCTOR Daneeka (Grant Heslov). Doctor of the squadron, a wise and prudent figure from whom Yossarian learns the paradox of Paragraph 22. There is a relaxed and peaceful relationship between the two, who mutually bring a kind of respect to each other.
- MAJOR MAJOR (Lewis Pullman). Cadet of the Air Force and, later, for a cruel case, Squadron Commander. He never had friends, as if a sense of impregnable loneliness enveloped him.
- CHAPEL TAPPMAN (Jay Paulson). Tappman is a nervous, often ineffective but kind chaplain, a deep thinker, who avoids conflict at all costs and loves his wife and children intensely. A mutual sympathy arises between him and Yossarian.
- MARION SCHEISSKOPF (Julie Ann Emery). She is the beautiful wife of Lieutenant Scheisskopf and is in a relationship with Yossarian. She is affable, restless and bored but also genuine and passionate. Sometimes sad, only with Yossarian can she be mischievous, light and playful. He is one of the few people who connects with Yossarian in the mental, intellectual and physical sense.
- NURSE DUCKETT (Tessa Ferrer). Shrewd nurse, she has a crush on Yossarian, but rejects her relentless attempts to get her to bed.
- CLARA (Valentina Bellè). Prostitute in Marcello's brothel with which Nately falls madly in love. She loves him too, but she's pragmatic: after all, this is life in wartime.
- INES (Viola Pizzetti). Eleven years old, a tomboy, raised on the streets around Marcello's brothel. Ines has seen too much, and consequently she knows too much for a child of her age.