Days after announcing his departure from Showtime’s corporate finance drama, Billions, Damian Lewis has landed his next TV role. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Homeland actor has reunited with Guy Pearce (Mare of Easttown, Bloodshot) for the upcoming fact-based limited series, A Spy Among Friends. The series is a BritBox and Spectrum Orignal via Sony Pictures Television, ITV Studios, and Veritas Entertainment.
“I’m excited to be producing and starring in A Spy Among Friends. 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,” Lewis stated via The Hollywood Reporter. “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,” Lewis finished according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on the book by Ben Macintyre (The Spy and the Traitor, Agent Zigzag), A Spy Among Friends follows the true story of two unlikely mates from the world of international espionage during the Cold War, via The Hollywood Reporter. Lewis is set to play Nicholas Elliott, an M16 agent who befriends Pearce’s Kim Philby, a KGB double agent, and former British intelligence spy. Pearce replaces Dominic West (The Affair, The Wire) who had been originally cast in the show’s early development.
“How could I resist the opportunity to dramatize the true story of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby — two spies and lifelong friends, one of whom was betraying the other all along?” creator Alexander Cary (Taken, Lie to Me) told The Hollywood Reporter. “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,” Cary continued according to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series has already begun production in London and will later film in Romania. The six-episode series is set for a fall 2022 premiere on the U.K.’s BritBox and Spectrum’s On Demand service in the States. Cary and Lewis will executive produce along with show director, Nick Murphy (The Awakening, Prey), Bob Bookman (Hannibal, A Horse Walks Into a Bar), Alan Gasmer (Dublin Murders, Fahrenheit 451), Chrissy Skinns (Elizabeth is Missing, Dead Set), Patrick Spence (Peaky Blinders, Domina), and Peter Jaysen (You Me Her, The Mosquito Coast).
For Billions’ fans who were alarmed at Lewis’ sudden decision to leave the series, The Hollywood Reporter confirms his contract had originally been set for five seasons. Feeling his character’s arc had come to a close, Lewis will now be able to film his new show in his home of London, closer to his family. Lewis has two teenage sons he shared with his late wife, Helen McCrory, who succumbed to cancer earlier this year.