Damian Lewis & Guy Pearce to Star in Limited Series Based on Shocking True Story of Spy Betrayal

Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce will be starring in a limited series based on a fascinating true story.

The planned series is A Spy Among Friends, which was originally to have Dominic West (The Wire, The Affair) and Lewis when news of the project first broke over a year ago. Pearce is now in the part West was once attached to. For Lewis, this will mark his first project since leaving Showtime series Billions.

A Spy Among Friends, an adaptation of the 2015 New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Ben Macintyre, will be a dramatisation of the true story of lifelong friends and spies, Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) and Kim Philby (Pearce). Little did MI6 agent Elliott know that his longtime buddy and MI6 colleague, Philby, had actually become a double agent, betraying every secret of British and American intelligence to the Soviet Union in the early years of the Cold War. Apart from passing along large amounts of sensitive info to the Russians during his career as an intelligence officer, Philby was also responsible for tipping off two other spies under suspicion of espionage.

The Spectrum Originals and BritBox UK series is created and written by Alexander Cary, whose television credits include Homeland, Lie to Me, and the Taken series. Cary also serves as executive producer along with Patrick Spence, Nick Murphy and star Lewis, via his Ginger Biscuit Entertainment banner, among others. On board to direct the six episodes is Nick Murphy, who directed Pearce in the dark 2019 mini-series adaptation of A Christmas Carol and whose credits also include films The Awakening and Blood, and series The Last Kingdom and Save Me.

The cast also includes Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland, Line of Duty), Stephen Kunken (Billions, The Handmaid’s Tale), and Adrian Edmondson (Back to Life, The Pact).

“I’m excited to be producing and starring in A Spy Among Friends,” said Lewis in a statement. “These fabulous scripts by Alex Cary take an up-close look at friendship – a friendship that was blinded by love, class, and membership to the right clubs, and ended in betrayal and the deaths of thousands. It’s been a fantastic creative process developing Spy and now I can’t wait to start filming with Guy and all the other brilliant actors who’ve happily agreed to join us.”

Said Pearce: “It’s an honour to be a part of this thrilling project. I’ve always been fascinated by the intriguing MI6 history and getting to go on this journey with Damian makes it all the more brilliant. I’m also very happy to be working again with the wonderful and talented Nick Murphy.”

A Spy Among Friends started production in London this week and will also be filming in Romania. The series  will have a worldwide premiere exclusively on BritBox in the UK and Spectrum’s On Demand platform in the U.S. in 2022.

Get SCREEN REALM’s weekly updates!

About Guillermo Troncoso

Guillermo is the Manager and Chief Editor of Screen Realm. He has years of experience in the media space - from network television to radio. When not at a local Sydney cinema, you can bet he's working hard on Screen Realm and attempting to catch up on a never-ending list of movies and shows.

Find him on Twitter, Instagram, and join Guillermo and his better half, Cassandra, on their YouTube channel, Loud Observers.

View all posts by Guillermo Troncoso