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Lionsgate Adapting Kim Philby Biography 'A Spy Among Friends' for TV

Oscar nominee Bill Broyles will pen the adaptation and exec produce alongside Allison Shearmur.

A Spy Among Friends Book Cover - P 2014

Lionsgate is getting into the spy game.

The TV banner has acquired the TV rights to British author Ben Macintyre's new biography A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal, and will adapt the best-seller as a potential TV series.

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Bill Broyles (Flags of Our Fathers, Jarhead, Apollo 13) will pen the adaptation and executive produce alongside Allison Shearmur, the former president of motion picture production at Lionsgate.

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A Spy Among Friends debuted at No. 1 on the London Times' best-seller list in March. Crown Publishers will release the book in the U.S. on July 29. The biography explores Philby, history's most notorious spy master who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War while secretly working with the enemy. Macintyre's account focuses on Philby's relationships and stunning betrayals of his two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and CIA intelligence chief James Jesus Angleton.

The pickup comes after the 50th anniversary of Philby's defection to Russia and after British intelligence released sealed files that gave Macintyre first crack at new material.

Macintyre is a London Times columnist and author of nine books, including Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and Double Cross.

The book becomes the latest property to be adapted for TV via Lionsgate. The banner is also prepping New York Times best-seller Hatching Twitter with Shearmur, who is also working on a follow-up to American Psycho at FX.

Macintyre is repped by Paradigm and Ed Victor in the U.K.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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