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Hulu lines up Clooney to face down rivals

US streamer Hulu has ramped up pressure on Netflix and Amazon by unveiling a raft of new originals and acquisitions, including an adaptation of classic novel Catch-22 starring George Clooney.

Joel Stillerman

The six-part drama, based on Joseph Heller’s book set on a US Army Air Force base in the Second World War, is being produced with Paramount Television and Anonymous Content.

Clooney will play unit commander Colonel Cathcart and will direct the series alongside his Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov. The series will go into production in 2018.

The show will be executive produced by Clooney and Heslov on behalf of Smokehouse Pictures, along with Richard Brown and Steve Golin for Anonymous Content. Luke Davis and David Michôd are attached as co-writers and executive producers for the series.

Hulu’s chief content officer Joel Stillerman described Catch-22 as “a rare story that has withstood the test of time” and said it was exactly the type of story Hulu wanted to programme.

Meanwhile, Hulu has agreed a deal with Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution to make medical series ER available to its subscribers.

All 15 seasons of the show, which premiered in 1994, became available on SVoD in the US for the first time yesterday via Hulu’s exclusive deal.

Hulu has also said the second season of its Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale will premiere with two shows becoming available on April 25. Subsequent episodes will be released every Wednesday.

The streamer is on board four-part crime drama Kiri, which is currently airing on Channel 4 in the UK produced by The Forge and will be made available in its entirety on April 4.

The series is created and written by Jack Thorne who previously created National Treasure for C4, which also aired on Hulu. Kiri will be available on the streamer under the title National Treasure: Kiri.

In addition, the streamer is expanding its factual slate, adding March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step to its offering.

The show, narrated by Morgan Freeman, is a sequel to 2005’s March of the Penguins and is from filmmaker Luc Jacquet. It joins The Beatles: 8 Days a Week – The Touring Years, Too Funny to Fail, Obey Giant, Becoming Bond, Dumb and Batman & Bill on Hulu’s doc slate.

Hulu has also said the fourth and final season of Casual will premiere in its entirety on the streamer on July 31. The show debuted in 2015 and is produced by Lionsgate Television.

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