Toni Collette And Colin Firth To Star In TV Drama Adaption Of ‘The Staircase’

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Source: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI, Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for New York Magazine
The eight-episode limited series will be aired on HBO Max, following the 2018 Netflix docuseries.

Deadline has revealed that multi-award winning actors Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Toni Collette (Hereditary) will be starring in the re-telling of the true-crime case of author Michael Peterson who was convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen in 2003. Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married) will also star in the series as Candace Zamperini, Kathleen Peterson’s sister.

Co-produced in collaboration with Annapurna Television, Christine director Antonio Campos and Maggie Cohn – a producer on American Crime Story season two – were announced to be connected to the series as writers and showrunners.

The series follows the death of Kathleen Peterson, who was allegedly murdered by her husband Michael on 9 December 2001. He claimed that she had fallen down the stairs after consuming a mix of alcohol and Valium; however, an autopsy report concluded that Kathleen had sustained injuries such as numerous lacerations on the top of her head which weren’t consistent with a fall. As Peterson was the only other resident, he became the prime suspect. He was convicted with Kathleen’s murder, which later turned to a manslaughter charge in 2017.

Kathleen and Michael Peterson
Source: Sundance Channel 1

The drama adaption was first documented in 2004 by French director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade in a television miniseries of the same name. de Lestrade was granted access to interview the Peterson family and the case’s defence attorneys. He then returned eight years later, as a retrial hearing led Peterson to be released on bail in 2011 and placed under house arrest – adding a further two episodes to the original eight. Netflix then acquired all of de Lestrade’s episodes and added three of its own following new court proceedings in 2016.

Peterson has consistently defended his innocence.

Collette and DeWitt previously worked together in 2009 as they played sisters once again on Emmy Award-winning show United States of Tara, a comedy-drama series following the daily life of a suburban mother with a dissociative identity disorder.

Words by Laura Stockdale

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