‘Harry Potter’ star is playing Cary Grant in new BritBox biopic ‘Archie’

A new drama series about Cary Grant‘s life has been announced!

Archie will tell the story of Hollywood’s greatest leading man, who starred in classic movies like Notorious, North By Northwest, and To Catch a Thief.

BritBox and ITV’s four-part mini-series comes from award-winning screenwriter Jeff Pope, best known for writing Mrs Biggs, Philomena, and Stan & Ollie.

The project has received the blessing of Cary Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant, and ex-wife Dyan Cannon, who were both interviewed extensively by writer Jeff Pope.

Grant commented: “My father was an extremely private man, so naturally, when Jeff Pope approached me with the idea to write Dad’s life story, I was trepidatious at best. Jeff’s thoughtfully intelligent understanding of Dad’s boyhood won me over.

“My father’s formative years as Archie Leach in Bristol, England, and the extraordinary challenges he faced, lie at the heart of ‘Archie’. Cary Grant is emblematic of charm, wit and grace, but unknown to most are the enormous challenges he overcame to create himself.”

Cannon added: “Cary Grant touched the world with his charm, his grace and enduring vivacity, but few knew Archie Leach, the man I was fortunate to know intimately and marry.”

Leading the cast as Cary Grant will be Jason Isaacs, best known as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.

The 59-year-old English actor said: “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.

“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.”

Jason Isaacs has previously appeared in Black Hawk Down, Peter Pan, Star Trek: Discovery, and recent hit period drama Mrs Harris Goes to Paris:

The official synopsis for Archie reads: “Born in Bristol, England in 1904, to parents Elsie and Elias, Archie narrates the story of a young Archibald Alexander Leach’s troubled childhood and how extreme poverty, his father’s adultery and the loss of his older brother, John, tore the family apart and sent his loving mother into a downward spiral of grief and depression.

“At 14 he auditioned for the music hall act, the Bob Pender Troupe, a band of acrobats, stilt walkers, clown and comedians after seeing them perform at the Bristol Hippodrome. Lean and athletic, he learned the art of stilt walking, and when the troupe went on tour to the US, teenage Archie was intoxicated by the land of opportunity. Believing he had no family to return to in the UK, he decided to stay in the US to try to make his way in showbusiness.

“With no thoughts of acting, a chance meeting with the comedian George Burns helped him find his first footing on the acting ladder and a contract with a movie studio who felt he needed to change his name, and Cary Grant was born.

“The drama intercuts with scenes from 1961 when at the height of his fame, living in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, the legendary actor was breaking all box office records, but desperately unhappy in his private life.

“With two failed marriages behind him, he began to woo a young actress he’d seen on a TV show, Dyan Cannon. Thirty three years his junior, Dyan, didn’t initially fall for his charms turning down his attempts to meet, because she didn’t feel they could ever be a match.

“Dashingly handsome, suave and sophisticated, Cary continued to pursue her, with introductions to his famous friends, Alfred Hitchcock and Doris Day until they eventually wed in Las Vegas in 1965.”

Archie will premiere in 2023 on new streaming service ITVX in the UK, and on BritBox in the US.

It’ll air on ITV’s main channel a few months later.

Cary Grant: The Collection is available on DVD on Amazon.