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A Cerebral and Fiendish Remix of the Kim Philby Tale
by Jasper Rees | The Telegraph | October 7, 2022
Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce are magnificent in a satisfyingly complex drama which focuses on Philby’s escape to Beirut in 1963.
Nothing illustrated the length of the journey made by Kim Philby from West to East, from British mandarin to Soviet icon, than his funeral. The casket, in the Russian style, was open, enabling his widow to lean in for a final caress of that infamous poker face. (You can watch the footage for yourself in Adam Curtis’s compendious forthcoming BBC series about the death rattle of communism.)
In a sense the lid will never close over the coffin of England’s most notorious traitor. Like other enigmas – see also Albert Speer – the story of a third man with two paymasters and four wives can never be definitively told, the case never closed. Hunting for the real Philby among the false fronts and double lives is like wandering around a maze uncertain if you’re looking for the entrance or the exit. From every new angle glint more questions.
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World Premiere and Red Carpet
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | October 7, 2022
A Spy Among Friends starring Damian Lewis received its World Premiere at BFI London Film Festival Friday, October 7, 2022. Damian spoke with press for interviews and walked the red carpet before the screening. Episodes one and two of A Spy Among Friends premiered at 6:30 p.m. on screen one at Curzon Mayfair to a sold out crowd. The drama will consist of a total of six episodes. Not only is Damian in one of the lead roles, but he also served as a producer. A Spy Among Friends is set to air in November 2022 on the new streaming platform ITVX in the UK. US release pending.
In 1963, MI6 agent Kim Philby (Guy Pearce) was revealed to be a KGB spy in one of the most humiliating chapters of Britain’s involvement in the Cold War. This adaptation of Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book explores the impact of this notorious betrayal of the British establishment. It focuses specifically on what happened during the final meeting between Philby and his close friend and fellow MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis), in the days leading up to Philby’s defection.
Outstanding performances from Lewis, Pearce and Anna Maxwell Martin bring to life the layered and deeply intelligent script by showrunner Alexander Carey (who previously worked with Damian on Homeland). Part gripping spy thriller in the Le Carré mould, part incisive dissection of the British class and power structures still in place today, A Spy Among Friends is, above all, a moving portrait of friendship and betrayal.
The 66th annual festival took place in venues across the UK capital beginning Wednesday October 5 and will go through Sunday October 16, 2022. Video clips:
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BFI London Film Festival 2022
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | August 31, 2022
A Spy Among Friends starring Damian Lewis will receive a World Premiere at BFI London Film Festival this October. The 66th annual festival will take place in venues across the UK capital on Wednesday October 5 through Sunday October 16, 2022 and will host 22 feature films, three episodic selections and several documentary cinema. Episodes one and two of A Spy Among Friends will premiere on Friday, October 7, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at Curzon Mayfair, screen 1. The screening is sold out.
The miniseries explores MI6 agent Kim Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union and stars Guy Pearce and Damian Lewis, the latter reuniting with showrunner Alexander Cary following their previous collaboration on Homeland. Above all, it is a moving portrait of friendship and betrayal. Other UK debuts launching at the festival include Fridjof Ryder’s dark thriller Inland, starring Mark Rylance. Some key dates:
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A Spy Among Friends
by Michael Hogan | The Guardian | August 28, 2022
From the return of Happy Valley and The Crown to new shows starring Gemma Arterton, Kenneth Branagh, Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, there’s a lot to stay in for
A Spy Among Friends ITV/ITVX, autumn (possibly November 17)
Double agents. Cold war defection. Le Carré-meets-Mad Men vibes. Guy Pearce and Damian Lewis don dapper 1950s suits for this stylish dramatisation of the Kim Philby espionage affair, based on the bestselling book by historian Ben Macintyre. ITVX is the new (and, thankfully, free) streaming service on which ITV will premiere selected shows before their terrestrial broadcast. It will also soon be airing another factual drama, Litvinenko, with David Tennant as the poisoned Russian spy.
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by Cynthia Littleton | Variety | May 20, 2022
The L.A. Screenings were one of many entertainment industry traditions that were put on hold by the pandemic. After all, an event that brings a few hundred international TV buyers to Los Angeles to huddle for a week in small screening rooms is pretty much the opposite of social distancing.
This year, a smaller contingent of buyers is expected to make like swallows to Capistrano and return to Hollywood during the week of May 23, 2022. Day by day, most of the major studios will take turns hosting L.A. Screenings events, giving buyers the opportunity to sample new properties on the heels of the network upfront presentations, which were held the week of May 16, 2022 in New York.
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by Steve Weintraub | Collider | May 6, 2022
I’m looking forward to A Spy Among Friends, [which] you’re doing with Damian Lewis.
PEARCE: Yeah. I’ve just finished a few weeks ago, and it’s glorious.
Yeah. I’m a huge fan of his work. I’m obviously a huge fan of your work, so this is one that I’m like, “Oh, I am paying attention.” What can you say about it?
PEARCE: Oh, it’s really classy. Nick Murphy directed it, who I worked with on A Christmas Carol. It’s spectacular. It’s really spectacular. It’s based on a Ben Macintyre book, which is fantastic. Ben’s a wonderful writer, but Alex Cary who wrote the script has done the most wonderful job. I can’t speak highly enough about it. It’s glorious. Yeah.
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BritBox Will Be Folded Into New ITV Streaming Platform ITVX
by Max Goldbart | Deadline | March 2, 2022
The next phase of ITVs digital strategy is here as the network launches a streaming service called ITVX that will air shows months before they arrive on linear, while posting impressive revenue and profit growth and record advertising spend.
Launching later this year or next with both an AVoD and SVoD option, ITVX will kick off with dramas including Damian Lewis’s A Spy Among Friends (with a premiere date of November 1, 2022), Helena Bonham Carter-starring Nolly and Lenny Henry’s The Little Birds, along with a new series using deep fake techniques to create hilarious celebrity set-ups, a feature film for ITV2 hit Plebs and a feature doc on the truth about Bill Cosby titled We Need To Talk About Cosby.
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Close To a Wrap
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | February 9, 2022
Photo Cred: Tom Radisch Instagram
It looks like Damian’s latest project A Spy Among Friends could be close to wrapping up filming. Tom Radisch, who’s character yet to be revealed, shared on Instagram that they have finished shooting in Bucharest, Romania and thanked UK and Romania stating, “London-Paris-Bucharest…live like a spy.”
A Spy Among Friends is based on the New York Times best-selling book written by Ben Macintyre. Damian serves as executive producer through his production company, Ginger Biscuit Entertainment. The limited series for BritBox U.K. and Spectrum US is set to air sometime in the Fall, 2022.
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First Look Revealed
by Naman Ramachandran | Variety | November 2, 2021
Spectrum Originals/Britbox UK
Variety can exclusively reveal the first look at Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce in “A Spy Among Friends,” a limited series for BritBox U.K. and Spectrum.
“A Spy Among Friends” is based on the New York Times best-selling book written by Ben Macintyre. It is produced in collaboration with Sony Pictures Television, ITV Studios and Veritas Entertainment Group. Lewis also serves as executive producer through his production company, Ginger Biscuit Entertainment. The series has begun production in London and will also shoot in Romania.
Alexander Cary is creator and executive producer alongside ITV Studios’ Patrick Spence and Nick Murphy.
The show dramatizes the true story of Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) and Kim Philby (Pearce) — two spies and lifelong friends, one of whom was betraying the other all along, at the height of the Cold War.
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Tracking Down a Traitor
by Steve Bird | The Telegraph | October 31, 2021
Damian Lewis filming the Cold War drama limited series A Spy Among Friends CREDIT: Julian Simmonds
Budding Bond Damian Lewis stars as the MI6 officer who played cat-and-mouse with Kim Philby.
Damian Lewis’s fascination with spies has seen him play a John Le Carre secret agent and even present an entire documentary series on espionage.
But now, for the first time he has been spotted playing a real life MI6 spy in a new series about the life of Kim Philby during the height of the Cold War.
His role as Nicholas Elliott, an MI6 officer who defended Philby until his treachery became irrefutable, is ideal for Lewis who has insisted he would make a great spy, possibly better than James Bond.
Lewis, 49, was filming in London for the new Britbox series, A Spy Among Friends. Wearing Elliort’s trademark round glasses and pin-stripe suit he was on a specially converted street with 1950’s shop fronts in Pimlico.
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A Ginger Biscuit Entertainment Production
by Peter White | Deadline | October 6, 2021
Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce are to lead the line of limited drama series A Spy Among Friends. Spectrum Originals and BritBox UK have ordered the adaptation of Ben Macintyre’s book to series. It comes over a year after Deadline first revealed the project, which then had Dominic West poised to star alongside Lewis.
It marks Lewis’ first gig since he exited Showtime’s Billions.
The series has started production in London this week and will also shoot in Romania. It will air in the U.S. via Spectrum’s On Demand platform and in the UK via streamer BritBox, a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, in the fall of 2022.
“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,” said Lewis. “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.”
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Forsyte Saga, Wolf Hall, Poirot, A Touch of Frost, A Spy Among Friends
by Christopher Stevens | Weekend Magazine for Daily Mail | June 25, 2021
Can Britbox really be the British Netflix? It offers classic dramas, star-studded new crime shows and landmark documentary series with a totally British-backed catalogue offering countless programmes from the vaults.
Ranked in the category of ’20 Terrific Shows On Britbox’ is Forsyte Saga and Wolf Hall starring Damian Lewis.
Britbox also offers classic crime series such as Happy Valley, Broadchurch, A Touch of Frost, Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple, of which Damian makes two of his earliest television appearances in Poirot and A Touch of Frost: Deep End.
BritBox has a number of original dramas in the pipeline as well. There’s A Spy Among Friends, adapted from Ben Macintyre’s book and starring British titan Damian Lewis, which explores the true story of Kim Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union. A Cold War drama, the six-episode limited series showcases MI6 operative Nicholas Elliot and his friend (and KGB double agent) Philby through the lens of their complex relationship, intertwined with espionage. No word on filming or release date since CoVid pandemic.
BritBox is a subscription streaming service dedicated to the best of British programming past and present. It has a vast selection of archive shows from dramas and documentaries to comedies, soaps and films, and is now producing its own original programmes.
BritBox can be watched using smart TVs, Apple and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast and via Amazon Prime Video channels. The regular price is £5.99 ($6.99) a month or £59.99 ($69.99) a year after a seven-day free trial. Visit britbox.co.uk here or britbox.com/us here for details.
Read the rest of the original article at Weekend Magazine for Daily Mail