Damian Lewis & Guy Pearce to Star in A Spy Among Friends


BritBox UK and Spectrum Originals in the U.S. are joining forces to globally debut A Spy Among Friends, starring Damian Lewis (Homeland, Billions) and Guy Pearce (Jack Irish, Mare of Easttown).

The limited series is based on the New York Times best-selling book written by Ben Macintyre. Lewis will also serve as executive producer through his production company, Ginger Biscuit Entertainment.

The six-episode series will have a worldwide premiere airing exclusively on BritBox in the U.K. and Spectrum’s On Demand platform in the U.S. in fall 2022. It comes from Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning British writer Alexander Cary.

“How could I resist the opportunity to dramatize the true story of Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis) and Kim Philby (Guy Pearce)—two spies and lifelong friends, one of whom was betraying the other all along?” said Cary. “A friendship that resulted in the gutting of British and American intelligence at the height of the Cold War and shaped the field of play for the dangerous game against Russia that we’re still trying to win today. Macintyre’s books about spies from recent history are relevant and exciting because they examine the larger universal themes of human behavior that drive individuals among us, and like us, to excel in the murky world of espionage and, for better or worse, leave a lasting impact on the world.”

Will Harrison, BritBox UK’s managing director, said: “We’ve sought out the highest caliber writing, acting, directorial and production talent to create exceptional original British programming for BritBox. A Spy Among Friends is the epitome of this and will provide a new and thrilling, must-watch show for subscribers.”

“I’m incredibly excited about collaborating with BritBox UK and ITV Studios along with our partners at Sony on this project,” said Katherine Pope, head of Spectrum Originals. “This emotional thriller examines espionage through a deeply personal lens, and we are lucky enough to be in the hands of the brilliant Alex Cary, Nick Murphy, Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, whose dedication will yield a distinctly special series.”

“Alex and I have worked together over the years so I was thrilled when we finally got him to join the Sony family,” said Lauren Stein, executive VP of drama development at Sony Pictures Television. A Spy Among Friends was the first project he brought us, and with the combination of Alex’s creative vision and the talent of Damian and Guy, we immediately knew this was a dream project. I couldn’t be more excited to be working on something so special.”

“I’m excited to be producing and starring in A Spy Among Friends,” said Lewis. “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.”

“It’s an honor to be a part of this thrilling project,” said Pearce. “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.”

“From the moment I finished reading Ben Macintyre’s manuscript of A Spy Among Friends, I knew there was a stellar television event to be produced from it,” said Bob Bookman, executive producer for Veritas Entertainment Group. “My partners and I at Veritas feel honored to be collaborating with Alex Cary, Nick Murphy and our dream cast to make this passion project become a reality.”

“Alex, Damian, Guy, Nick and Chrissy—every producer dreams of bringing together a team as good as this. Bring it on,” added Patrick Spence of ITV Studios.

Kevin Lygo, BritBox Originals’ creative chief and ITV’s director of TV, concluded, “A Spy Among Friends is a brand-defining original commission starring world-class British talent. We are really looking forward to sharing it with our subscribers.”