Three climb 'Staircase' for Lifetime


Treat Williams, Samaire Armstrong and Kevin Pollak are set to star in a Lifetime original movie based on the real-life murder case involving novelist Michael Peterson, who was accused of killing his wife in their North Carolina home.

In the tentatively titled "The Staircase Murders," Williams will portray Peterson, a loving father, aspiring politician and successful New York Times best-selling novelist who was the picture-perfect husband to his socialite wife, Kathleen. But when the panic-stricken author frantically calls 911 to report that Kathleen has accidentally fallen down the stairs, investigators discover several suspicious findings and begin to question how she died.

Armstrong will portray Peterson's stepdaughter Caitlin, who breaks rank with the family to publicly accuse him of murder, while Pollak will play his lawyer, David Rudolf, who also begins to question his client.

Production is under way in Louisiana. The movie, produced by Lionsgate, is set to premiere in April.

"This is a fascinating story with lots of bizarre twists and turns," said Libby Beers, vp original movies. "It has all the gripping elements of great drama with mysterious deaths, sensational rumors and shocking revelations."

Judy Polone is executive producing the movie, with Judy Cairo producing. Aphrodite Jones, who wrote the book "A Perfect Husband," on which the movie is based, is co-producing. Tom McLoughlin is directing from a screenplay by Donald Martin.

Williams, who spent four seasons on WB Network's "Everwood," most recently appeared in ABC's "Brothers & Sisters." He also stars in TNT's upcoming drama series "Heartland." He is repped by J.J. Harris and Graciella Sanchez of One Talent Management and attorney George Sheanshang.

Armstrong, best known for her role as Anna on Fox's "The O.C.," has a recurring role as Emily on HBO's "Entourage." She recently appeared in the feature film "Just My Luck" opposite Lindsay Lohan. She is repped by ICM, Thruline Entertainment and attorney Rick Genow.

Pollak has appeared in such films as "A Few Good Men," "The Usual Suspects," "Casino," "Avalon" and "Willow," which marked his film debut. More recently, he starred alongside Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry in "The Whole Ten Yards." He is repped by ICM and attorney Bruce Gellman.