- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The eight-episode drama comes from writers and showrunners Antonio Campos (The Sinner, The Devil All the Time) and Maggie Cohn (American Crime Story, The Girl Before) and Annapurna Television. Campos will also direct six of the eight episodes. Using the docuseries along with books and other materials written on the case, The Staircase will explore the life of novelist Michael Peterson (Firth), his North Carolina family and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen.
The series has been in the works at Annapurna since late 2019, with Harrison Ford initially attached to star.
“It is a thrill to collaborate with Antonio Campos, Maggie Cohn and Annapurna Television for the exploration of this true-life story that’s rife with dramatic revelations,” said HBO Max head of original content Sarah Aubrey. “With the enormously talented Colin Firth at the center of this adaptation, the story of The Staircase will continue to captivate audiences with every bizarre twist and turn.”
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s docuseries The Staircase chronicled the case against Peterson, who was accused of killing his wife in 2001. It aired on Sundance Channel in the United States in 2005. Lestrade also made follow-up episodes as the case made its way through the legal system and eventually to a second trial. The most recent installments debuted on Netflix in 2018.
Lifetime also produced a TV movie based on the case in 2007, with Treat Williams starring as Peterson.
“This has been a project I have been working on in one way or another since 2008,” said Campos. “It’s been a long and winding road, but well worth the wait to be able to find partners like HBO Max, Annapurna, co-showrunner Maggie Cohn and the incredible Colin Firth to dramatize such a complex true-life story.”
Added Annapurna TV chief content officer Sue Naegle, “Annapurna couldn’t be more excited to partner with HBO Max, Antonio Campos, Maggie Cohn and Colin Firth on this unbelievable true-life saga. We were enthralled by the docuseries and know that this story will be just as fascinating as a limited series in the hands of Antonio and Maggie, with Colin at the center.”
Firth is coming off feature films Supernova and The Secret Garden. The Oscar winner’s part in The Staircase will be his first lead TV role since his breakout in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice. He is repped by Independent Talent in the U.K. and CAA. Campos is repped by WME, Management 360 and Nelson Davis, and Cohn is repped by Management 360 and CAA.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day