Ever wanted to see what it's like creating the world's most dysfunctional spy agency? Archer art director Neal Holman's new book, The Art of Archer, gave us all kinds of fun facts about the FX show.
1. The original title for the show was Duchess.
2. The show's creator, Adam Reed, got the idea for Archer while hiking in Spain.
3. Cheryl/Carol wasn't supposed to make it past the pilot episode.
4. An episode takes about nine weeks to animate, which is actually pretty fast for prime time animation.
5. Adam Reed was the original voice of Sterling Archer.
In The Art of Archer, EP Matt Thompson reveals that Reed was originally the voice of Sterling Archer, as he (along with other crew members) voiced characters in previous projects like Frisky Dingo. But the episode felt "flat," so they decided to bring H. Jon Benjamin on board.
Reed claims he wanted to avoid doing a voice in Archer at all after that, but they "needed a new character" and Reed wouldn't need to be paid, so he ended up voicing Ray Gillette.
6. The first person cast on the show was Jessica Walter, because Malory was described as "like Jessica Walter from Arrested Development."
7. Ron and Mallory are actually married IRL.
Ron Cadillac was introduced as Malory's new husband in Season 4. Ron's voice actor, Ron Leibman, has been married to Jessica Walter since 1983!
8. Adam Reed personally approves every car used in the show.
9. The artists use actual photos as guides.
Models were used for the original references when creating the characters, but for various actions, costumes, and poses, members of the illustration/animation team will pose for photos and act out character motions for reference.
10. Art Director Neal Holman's favorite episode is the Sealab-inspired Season 4 finale.
11. The design team actually built Cheryl/Carol's space dress IRL.
12. That San Francisco chase scene with Lana's dad was a reference to Bullitt.
The team modeled the backgrounds after 1960s San Francisco instead of modern-day, and according to 3D director Robert Paraguassu, even some of the cars in the background match up to the movie exactly.