Clooney returns to high school read 'Catch 22' for Hulu show

Grant Heslov, from left, George Clooney, Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, Ellen Kuras and Luke Davies participate in the "Catch-22" panel during the Hulu presentation at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
George Clooney participates in the "Catch-22" panel during the Hulu presentation at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Grant Heslov, from left, George Clooney, Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, Ellen Kuras and Luke Davies participate in the "Catch-22" panel during the Hulu presentation at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

PASADENA, Calif. — George Clooney says he never expected his next project to be a miniseries based on a novel he read in high school.

But against his initial inclination, he's directing and starring in Hulu's series "Catch-22," drawn from Joseph Heller's classic work about the insanity of war. The streaming service Hulu will release it this spring.

Clooney said Monday that the longer format allowed them to develop the characters beyond what could be done in Mike Nichols' 1970 classic movie. Adopted at the time by opponents of the Vietnam War, he said the story making fun of the red tape and bureaucracy of war is relevant today and not tied to a particular conflict.

Series makers say the mixture of horror and hilarity becomes more pronounced as the series goes on.

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