Academy Award and BAFTA Award winner Colin Firth is set to play American novelist Michael Peterson in HBO Max‘s limited series adaptation of the 2004 true crime docuseries The Staircase.
Antonio Campos (Christine, Afterschool) will direct six of the series’ eight episodes, and serve as co-showrunner alongside Maggie Cohn.
Adapting the docuseries as well as various books and reports on the case, The Staircase will explore Peterson’s life, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson.
When Peterson’s wife was found dead at the foot of a staircase on their Forest Hills home in December 2001, he claimed she had fallen, drunk. Evidence, however, suggested Kathleen had been bludgeoned to death, and an arrest and murder trial followed. No spoilers here!
“This has been a project I have been working on in one way or another since 2008,” Campos said in a statement. “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.”
Adds HBO Max’s original content chief Sarah Aubrey, “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. 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.”