Archie – Jason Isaacs to play Cary Grant in new ITVX drama (updated)

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“Everyone wants to be Cary GrantEven I want to be Cary Grant.” 

Updated 04/10/22: The wider cast list for Archie includes Harriet Walter, Ian McNeice and Jason Watkins.

With work progressing on Archie, ITV’s upcoming Cary Grant biopic, the broadcaster has revealed some of the drama’s cast list.

We already know that Jason Issacs is tackling the lead role of Archibald Leach, as the actor was born. Now, we have a clutch of names who will join him in the show that is currently filming on location in Manchester, Chester and Liverpool.

Laura Aikman

Laura Aikman will star as Dyan Cannon, Grant’s ex-wife. Aikman she was previously a regular on Casualty and, more recently, a guest star on the Gavin and Stacey 2019 Christmas Special. She’s also done some cracking audio work for Big Finish too.

Harriet Walter

Harriet Walter is playing Archie’s mother, Elise Leach. While the acting Dame doubtless needs no introduction, her recent roles have included parts in Succession, Killing Eve and a shady Prime Minister in Doctor Who.

Additionally, Dainton Anderson, Calam Lynch and Oaklee Pendergast will play young versions of Archie Leach, with Kara Tointon playing the young Elsie.

Ian McNiece as Winston Churchill

The ensemble also includes Ian McNeice (Doctor Who’s Churchill), Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Ian Puleston-Davies (Pennyworth), Jason Watkins, Lisa Faulkner and Niamh Cusack.

Archie is directed by Paul Andrew Williams, with Rebecca Hodgson producing. The writer Jeff Pope will executive produce the series for Etta Pictures with Diederick Santer executive producing for BritBox International.

The show will premiere on ITVX, the new, free streaming platform, and follow on ITV some months later – though there’s no hint of an airdate yet. We’re guessing well into 2023.

Original article follows…

Archie – Jason Isaacs to play Cary Grant in new ITVX drama

“Everyone wants to be Cary GrantEven I want to be Cary Grant.”

Jason Isaacs has been cast to play the Bristol born Archibald Alexander Leach, better known to the world as the movie star Cary Grant – according to news broken by Variety.

Isaacs, best known in CultBox circles for his roles as Harry Potter villain Lucius Malfoy and Star Trek: Discovery‘s duplicitous Captain Gabriel Lorca, will play the Hollywood icon in a four-part drama.

North by Northwest (1959)

Archie will follow Grant from his humble beginnings to leading man roles in movies. Across four decades, he starred in hits like North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief, Charade and Bringing up Baby.

The drama comes from John Pope (Cilla, Philomena) and its director is Paul Andrew Williams (Broadchurch) – the pair previously worked together on 2019’s A Confession.

Jason Isaacs

Of his casting, Jason 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.”

Writer Jeff Pope added:

“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. 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 is being produced by ITV Studios in collaboration with BritBox International. Cary Grant’s daughter Jennifer Grant and ex-wife Dyan Cannon will executive produce. Rebecca Hodgson is producing.

Reports suggests that Archie will debut on ITVX later this year.


For those unfamiliar with the name, ITVX is the upcoming rebrand of ITV’s streaming offering.

A Spy Among Friends — ITVX launch drama

Integrating ad-supported programming with a subscription tier, it plans to provide hours of free content and BritBox access. ITVX will also exclusively debut shows Archie before they come to linear ITV channels.

Programmes lined up for ITVX include the cold war drama A Spy Among Friends, Without Sin starring Vicky McClure and David Tennant’s new drama Litvinenko. They’re also reviving Plebs for a feature-length final hurrah called Barbarian Invasion and will show the Stephen Fry narrated natural history show A Year On Planet Earth.

For more on what’s coming, there’s a press release here. ITVX launches in the autumn – we’ll keep you posted.