Jason Isaacs will play Cary Grant, one of Hollywood’s leading men, in a drama for ITV and BritBox International, Deadline has learned. Jeff Pope, the author of Philomena and Stan & Ollie, is developing and executive producing Archie, which is based on Grant’s given name, Archibald Alexander Leach. The four-parter, which will be a flagship premiere on the soon-to-be-released streaming service ITVX, is produced by ITV Studios.
One of Hollywood’s leading men, Grant became well-known for his transatlantic accent, comic timing, and good-looking, dapper demeanor over the course of more than 70 films throughout a long career in the middle of the twentieth century. He collaborated with the biggest performers of the day, such as Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, and Doris Day, and was nominated for an Academy Award on two separate occasions for his roles in Penny Serenade and None But the Lonely Heart.
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Beginning in Bristol in 1904, Archie will tell the tale of a boyhood spent in extreme poverty, dealing with his father’s adultery, and missing his older brother John. At the age of 14, he came to the United States and joined the Bob Pender Troupe, a musical theatre troupe. Shortly after, Cary Grant was born.
Sequences from 1961, when Grant was at the height of his popularity and very depressed due to two failed marriages, will be cut into scenes from the present. The TV personality Dyan Cannon, who was 30 years younger than Grant, didn’t immediately succumb to Grant’s charms when he began courting her. He wed her in 1965 and gave up acting in movies a year later.
There was only one Cary Grant, and Isaacs said, “I’d never be foolish enough to try to step into his iconic shoes.” Archie Leach, on the other hand, couldn’t be more different from the persona he created in order to protect himself. Isaacs represents a significant gain for ITV, which has previously signed his Harry Potter co-star Helena Bonham Carter to direct Russell T Davies’ related celebrity biopic Nolly, with each screening expected to set the tone for future ITVX programming.
Most recently, Isaacs could be seen in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, an Anthony Fabian and Sex Education on Netflix episode from the most recent season. Alongside Tom Holland, he is now filming The Crowded Room in New York. According to Pope, Archie followed the pattern of many of his scripts, which “begin on the end and proceed backwards.” He continued, “Presidents and beggars alike loved Cary Grant as he rose to become one of the iconic personalities of the 20th century.” His early years held the key to everything.
Jennifer Grant, the daughter of Grant, and Cannon, Grant’s ex-spouse, each gave Archie their approval and praised Pope’s script for being “intelligent, understanding,” and “capturing him so well.” Polly Hill, the head of drama at ITV, continued, “Jeff’s writings masterfully tell the story of Archie, the Bristol youngster who was abandoned by his father and fled to Hollywood, where miraculously he changed and became Cary Grant. Independent Talent Group, The Gersh Agency, and Silver Lining Entertainment all represent Isaacs.