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Jason Isaacs set to play Hollywood legend in new ITV drama

Good Housekeeping UK logo Good Housekeeping UK 09/08/2022 Jacob Sarkisian

Jason Isaacs is set to play a fellow acting icon in an upcoming ITV series about the life and times of Hollywood legend Cary Grant.

The four-part drama series titled Archie will explore the man behind the screen legend and follow how Archibald Alec Leach became one of classic Hollywood's most distinguished leading men: Cary Grant.

Isaacs will play Grant and has commented that he is looking forward to portraying Archie Leach rather than the iconic Grant.

Cary Grant © John Kobal Foundation - Getty Images Cary Grant

"There was only one Cary Grant and I'd never be foolish enough to try to step into his iconic shoes. Archie Leach, on the other hand, couldn't be further from the character he invented to save himself," Isaacs said.

"Jeff's brilliant scripts bring to life his relentless struggle to escape the demons that plagued him, his obsessive need for control, his fears, his weaknesses, his loves, and his losses. It's the story of a man, not a legend, and those are shoes I can't wait to walk in."

Isaacs previously starred in series three of Netflix's Sex Education as Peter Groff, the older brother to headmaster Michael Groff (Alistair Petrie). Prior to that, Isaacs famously had villainous roles as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies and as Captain James Hook in the 2003 version of Peter Pan, in which he also played Mr Darling.

Jason Isaacs and Helen McCroy as Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter © Warner Bros. Jason Isaacs and Helen McCroy as Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter

The series will be written by Jeff Pope, the head of ITV Productions Factual Drama, who has worked on a slew of acclaimed shows and movies about real-life people.

Pope went on to win a BAFTA with Steve Coogan for their screenplay of Philomena, which explored the true story of a journalist helping a woman search for her long-lost son. Pope and Coogan were also Oscar-nominated for their script before they collaborated again on the Laurel & Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie, which Pope wrote.

"As with many of my projects, I started at the end and worked backwards. I discovered that, at the height of his fame, Cary Grant retired to look after his young daughter. Intrigued, I started to dig into why he had become a single father. What had happened? My journey led me to Bristol, and a young boy called Archie Leach," Pope said about his research into Grant.

Jason Isaacs © Getty Images Jason Isaacs

"Cary Grant became one of the most iconic figures of the twentieth century, beloved by presidents and paupers. The key to everything lay in his childhood."

Archie will be produced by ITV Studios with BritBox International as co-production partners. The series will air on ITV's new, free streaming service ITVX, which will launch later this year.

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