Jason Isaacs of ‘Discovery’ Set to Play Cary Grant in Biographical TV Series

Jason Isaacs

Getty Jason Isaacs at the "Star Trek: Picard" premiere in London in 2020.

“Star Trek: Discovery” and “Harry Potter” actor Jason Isaacs has been cast to play Hollywood legend Cary Grant in an upcoming biographical limited television series, according to the entertainment trade publication Variety. The paper reported that the four-part drama series will be titled “Archie,” and stated that it “will tell the story of Grant’s life, from his humble beginnings as Archibald Alexander Leach in Bristol, U.K. to the leading man he became in later life.”

Variety noted that “Archie” has been written by Jeff Pope, with Paul Andrew Williams set to direct it. Pope, according to the Internet Movie Database, has written 31 movies and shows, including “Stan & Ollie,” while Williams’ credits include the film “Unfinished Song” and several episodes of the long-running show “Broadchurch.” ITV will premiere “Archie” on its streaming platform ITVX in the U.K. in late 2022, according to Variety, prior to airing on ITV in the months thereafter. Among the executive producers are Grant’s former wife, Dyan Cannon, and his daughter, Jennifer Grant.

Isaacs is More Eager to Step into the Shoes of Archie Leach than the Icon He Became, Cary Grant

Grant, who died on November 29, 1986, at the age of 82, according to the New York Times, had starred in such films as “Topper,” “Gunga Din,” “Penny Serenade,” “None But the Lonely Heart,” “His Girl Friday,” “The Philadelphia Story,” ”Arsenic and Old Lace,” ”Notorious,” ”To Catch a Thief,” ”An Affair to Remember,” ”North by Northwest,” and ”Charade.”

“There was only one Cary Grant and I’d never be foolish enough to try to step into his iconic shoes,” Variety quoted Isaacs as saying in a statement. “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.”

Isaacs is a British actor who, per IMDB, has amassed more than 150 acting credits dating back to 1988. Those credits include such television shows and movies as “DragonHeart,” “Armageddon,” “The Patriot,” “Black Hawk Down,” the role of Lucius Malfoy in several “Harry Potter” films, “Dig,” “Star Wars: Rebels,” “The Death of Stalin,” “The O.A.” (with Ian Alexander of “Discovery”), “The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance” (with Shazad Latif of “Discovery” and Simon Pegg of the J.J. Abrams “Star Trek” films), “Sex Education,” and “Good Sam.”

Isaacs Would Play Prime Lorca on ‘Discovery’ if There’s a Story as Good as Season One’s Mirror Lorca Arc

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The actor has also been in the news lately for addressing the possibility of the Prime version of his “Star Trek: Discovery” character, Captain Gabriel Lorca, appearing in a future “Star Trek” project. The “Mirror” version of Lorca died in season one of “Discovery,” according to Memory Alpha, in the episode “What’s Past Is Prologue.” In an interview with The List that ran on July 15, 2022, as Isaacs was promoting his latest film, “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” he said, “Sure. Yeah. The story would have to be great. It was a fantastic storyline. All actors ever want is a secret, and I had the biggest secret of all, without spoiling it for anyone. If people haven’t watched it already, it’s unlikely they’ll watch it now, but there is nonetheless a fantastic secret, and I had it to play, and I knew it. It means that when you watch it, like when you watch ‘The Sixth Sense’ for a second time, there’s a whole new layer of enjoyment to be had when you know what things turn out to be.

“Prime Lorca is… I’m working with Akiva Goldsman right now, who wrote and directed quite a lot of ‘Discovery,’ on a Tom Holland miniseries, ‘The Crowded Room,’ in New York,” he continued. “We’ve talked about Prime Lorca, and it would have to be as good a story as season one of ‘Discovery.’ I don’t want to come back just because he’s a fan favorite and do some version that isn’t anywhere near as good. If there’s space… they have so many brilliant series up now. ‘Strange New Worlds‘ has been a massive hit as well, and ‘Picard‘ is a huge hit, but where and if there’s space for a Prime Lorca arc, I’m all up for it. I don’t want to come back just to squeeze into that sausage skintight suit.”

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