‘Catch-22’: Trailer For George Clooney’s New Hulu Series Proves War Is Hell

“Insanity is contagious.”

War begins for many reasons but at least one key statement in the new trailer for George Clooney’s Catch-22 explains why it continues once bullets fly and blood flows: “Insanity is contagious.”

This preview communicates that sense of madness well, like the moment when Clooney‘s Lieutenant Scheisskopf learns someone has had “his balls blown off” and says, “I want to see.”


Catch-22 is based on Joseph Heller’s 1961 comic novel set during World War II and stars Christopher Abbott as the main character, Yossarian, with Kyle Chandler as his commanding officer, Colonel Cathcart. In case you’ve never read the book, here’s the series synopsis:

Christopher Abbott is Yossarian, a bombardier, whose frantic obsession every time he goes up on a mission is “to come down alive”. His odds of success at such a simple aim keep getting worse, because Colonel Cathcart (Kyle Chandler) keeps raising the number of missions the men have to fly. More than the retreating Germans, the real enemy for Yossarian and his rag-tag bunch of friends is the bureaucracy of the military, inverting logic at every turn.

The pinnacle of this is Catch-22, a military by-law which states that if you fly your missions, you’re crazy, and don’t have to fly them; all you have to do is ask. But if you ask not to, then you’re sane, and so you have to fly them. George Clooney stars as the barking mad, parade-obsessed Scheisskopf. Hugh Laurie is the mellow, slightly checked-out Major de Coverley. Clooney directs the six-episode series, along with Grant Heslov and Ellen Kuras.

Clooney was originally slated to play Cathcart but took the lesser role of Scheisskopf so he could direct. 

We’ll see if he nailed his directing duties as well as he nailed the half-crazed old soldier look he rocks in the trailer when Hulu begins streaming Catch-22 on May 17, 2019.