George Clooney is to star, direct and executive produce an adaptation of the novel 'Catch-22' for Channel 4.

George Clooney

George Clooney

The Hollywood legend has teamed up with the broadcaster and Sky Italia to bring Joseph Heller's 1961 satire to life in a six-part drama series, in which he'll portray cadet training commander Scheisskopf alongside Hugh Laurie (Major de Coverley), Christopher Abbott and Kyle Chandler.

Speaking about the series, which is due to air in 2019, on Channel 4 in the UK and Sky Atlantic in Italy, the 'Ides of March' star said: "I'm very excited to be working with Channel 4 to bring the classic 'Catch-22 to their channel. I couldn't think of a better place to be doing this."

'Catch-22' follows the story of Captain John Yossarian (Abbott), a US air force soldier in World War II who can't understand why thousands of people who have never met him want him dead.

The series is to be shot on location in Sardinia and Rome in Italy, with filming commencing in June.

David Michod and Luke Davies have penned the script and Ellen Kuras is directing alongside Clooney and Grant Heslov.

Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4, added: "It's hard to imagine a work that speaks more directly to the frequently absurd times we live in, and to the growing sense of individual distrust of institutions, than 'Catch-22'. David Michod and Luke Davies have produced a script that crackles with irony, anger and humanity. I'm thrilled that it will be a part of our stellar 2019 drama offer."

Paramount Television, Clooney and Heslov on behalf of Smokeshouse Pictures, along with Anonymous Content's Richard Brown and Steve Golin are producing the adaptation.

Paramount Pictures' Dan Cohen added: "We are very excited to be bringing this exceptional new series to the UK through this agreement with Channel 4.

"With an outstanding cast and award-winning creative team, we are confident that this adaptation of 'Catch-22' will resonate with a wide international audience."

The novel was previously adapted for the big screen by 'Charlie Wilson's War' director Mike Nichols in 1970.