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Archie: Release date, cast and plot for ITV’s Cary Grant drama

Jason Isaacs takes on a Hollywood icon in new mini-series

Jason Isaacs transforms into Cary Grant in Archie. (ITV)
Jason Isaacs transforms into Cary Grant in Archie. (ITV)

Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs will soon be transformed into an icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age when he takes on Cary Grant in ITV's new four-part miniseries Archie.

The drama promises to tell the story of the man behind the larger-than-life figure, from his humble beginnings in poverty-stricken England to conquering the big screen as one of cinema’s most beloved leading men.

What else do we know about Archie? Read on to find out...

Archie release date

Archie is out on ITVX now, the four-part series was released all in one go on the streaming platform and is available to watch exclusively there.

American viewers can expect to find it on the streaming service Britbox shortly after it makes its UK debut.

Archibald Alexander Leach transformed into Cary Grant, played here by Isaacs. (ITV)
Archibald Alexander Leach transformed into Cary Grant, played here by Isaacs. (ITV)

Archie plot

Written by Jeff Pope, the same scribe behind Steve Coogan projects Philomena and Stan & Ollie, Archie will look at the life and experiences that transformed the unknown Archibald Alexander Leach into screen legend Cary Grant.

Archie will show Grant at various ages. (ITV)
Archie will show Grant at various ages. (ITV)

By chronicling different moments from both his childhood and adult life, it will give viewers a new perspective on the issues that inspired his screen presence and the behind-the-scenes challenges Grant faced while maintaining the life and screen presence of a Hollywood leading man.

“Archie tells 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,” says Britbox’s official synopsis.

Kino. Der unsichtbare Dritte, (NORTH BY NORTHWEST) USA, 1959, Regie: Alfred Hitchcock, CARY GRANT, Stichwort: Jagd, Laufen, Flugzeug, Doppeldecker. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Cary Grant starred in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 film North By Northwest. (Getty)

“Jeff Pope’s scripts reveal how deceit, cruelty and one, overpowering lie shaped Archie’s life.”

Born in 1904 in Bristol, Grant grew up poor and left his troubled childhood behind at aged 16 for a life on stage in America with the Pender Troupe. Eventually, he landed in Hollywood and adopted the new stage name Cary Grant.

His Hollywood filmmaking career started in the late 1930s and lasted all the way up to the mid-1960s. During this time, Grant delivered many memorable performances including a number of collaborations with the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock.

Archie Cast

Archie will air in December 2023. (ITV)
Archie it out on ITVX now. (ITV)

Perhaps best known to audiences as Slytherin wizard Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, British actor Isaacs transforms himself under a layer of subtle make-up to play Grant at the peak of his Hollywood fame.

Speaking of taking on such a well-known role, the star said: “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.”

Posting to X (formerly Twitter) he added: “There was and only ever will be one Cary Grant. I can’t wait to play Archie Leach, though, who struggled to play Cary Grant himself. A fascinating, complicated, haunted man who was much, much more beautiful than me (thanks Twitter!).

“Here goes something.”

Kino. BERüCHTIGT / Notorious USA, 1946 / Alfred Hitcock Bild: CARY GRANT (Devlin), INGRID BERGMAN (Alicia Huberman) Regie: Alfred Hitcock aka. Notorious / BERüCHTIGT USA, 1946. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Alfred Hitchcock's 1946 film Notorious. (Getty)

Throughout the show’s four episodes, audiences will also see Grant as a child and a young man. All in all, he’ll be played by Calam Lynch, Dainton Anderson and Oaklee Pendergast at various stages of his life.

Meanwhile, Harriet Walter will play his mum, Elsie, with Kara Tointon playing the same character at a younger age. Laura Aikman will play Dyan Cannon, the actress and filmmaker who was also Grant’s ex-wife.

Archie is out on ITVX now, and it will arrive on Britbox in America.


Watch: Jason Isaacs pays tribute to Harry Potter co-star Michael Gambon