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Projector Pictures Options Espionage Thriller Trilogy


Projector Pictures has secured the rights to a trilogy of espionage thriller novels written by Charlotte Philby to be developed as a drama series.

The first book in the series and Philby’s debut novel, Part of the Family was published by HarperCollins in 2019 and followed up by A Double Life and The Second Woman. Under the working title of A Double Life, the adaptation will draw on elements of all three books to create a returning drama.

Part of the Family investigates what it takes for a wife and mother who has it all to abandon her family. Trilogy protagonist Anna Witherall appears to have the perfect life—married to her university boyfriend David with an enviable job, beautiful home and 3-year-old twin daughters, Stella and Rose. But beneath the veneer of success and happiness, Anna is covering up a tragic past and hiding a dark secret.

Rachel Gesua, executive producer for Projector Pictures, said: “From the moment I opened the book, I knew we had something highly original and special. The blend of espionage thriller with domestic suspense is rich territory for drama, and it immediately appealed to us. Charlotte has written an incredible story that you can feel is peppered with her own childhood experiences with her infamous grandfather, evolved out of a desire to understand the vagaries of subterfuge and culpability in all areas of life—from the nefarious world of business and profit to the person we lie beside at night. Her subtle storytelling with nuanced dedication to unpick the moments that make us all ‘turn’ really won us over and made us want to translate this to the screen. We’re so excited to start on the development and start talking to partners for the series.”

Philby added: “With a revolving cast and a narrative that spans continents and decades—from a Greek island in the 1980s to present-day London via Moscow and the Maldives—this is a complex trilogy. From our first meeting, I was blown away by Rachel and Suzi [McIntosh]’s enthusiasm and passion for the story. Having seen how they connected to the characters and themes, and having heard their clear vision, I feel hugely confident in Projector’s vision for the books as a returning TV series. I cannot wait to see the world that has existed for so long in my mind, and on the page, given new life on screen.”

About Chelsea Regan

Chelsea Regan is the managing editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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