What were the real-life events behind The Staircase?
On December 9, 2001, novelist Michael Peterson called emergency services after finding his wife, Kathleen, unconscious and gravely injured at the bottom of a staircase in their home.
He alleged that he had been out by the pool and had not found her until returning inside at around 2am in the morning.
An autopsy revealed lacerations to Kathleen’s head, likely caused by a blunt object, and that she had died of blood loss after the fall.
Peter was charged with her murder shortly after, and pleaded not guilty, but theories that his wife had discovered his extra-marital affair, which ultimately led to a guilty verdict.
Although he was originally sentenced to life in prison without parole, this was later reduced to manslaughter, and he was re-sentenced to time served.
While this miniseries is a fictionalised version of events, it incorporates the making of a documentary about the crime, which was also called The Staircase.
This includes the romantic relationship Michael would come to have with Sophie Brunet, the documentary editor.
The show has also written Jean-Xavier de Lastrade, the French director of the documentary version of The Staircase.
Who stars in The Staircase?
We’re getting ready to see Colin Firth as we never have before in the role of Michael Peterson. While, yes, his character in Love, Actually was also a novelist, we’ve never really seen Colin in the role of the ‘bad guy’, although we’re certain he’ll pull it off perfectly.
Australian acting legend Toni Collette will play Kathleen Peterson. With a long and varied acting career behind her, we know that Toni can do satire, comedy, horror, and drama, so she will obviously be fantastic.
Toni and Colin are joined by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, French actress Juliette Binoche, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rosemarie DeWitt, who has previously acted alongside Toni in The United States of Tara.
Where can I watch The Staircase?
An HBO series, The Staircase will air on BINGE on May 5, 2022.