EastEnders star Shane Richie is planning to take time off from the BBC1 soap next year in order to pursue other acting work.
Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace were an on-screen hit
Richie, who plays ex-Queen Vic landlord Alfie Moon, is preparing to take a break from the soap from January 2006.
He said it is because he has had discussions with US studio Dreamworks.
Richie's debut film Shoreditch - which he partly financed - was released in January 2005 to poor reviews.
Shoreditch saw Richie starring as a 1930s club owner who falls for a jazz singer played by Joely Richardson.
Richie remortgaged his house and ploughed £500,000 into the project which flopped with ticket sales of just £2,272.
Former co-star Jessie Wallace, who played Richie's EastEnders wife Kat Slater, took a break from the soap to give birth to her baby daughter in November.
Their on-screen success saw them win most popular actress and actor awards at the National Television Awards in 2003.