Colin Firth to Star in HBO Max Adaptation of The Staircase True-Crime Docuseries

The Staircase, the true-crime docuseries about author Michael Peterson that became a pop culture sensation when it arrived on Netflix in 2018, is about to get new mainstream attention as the case will be turned into a new dramatic limited series.

Oscar winner Colin Firth will star in the eight-episode series for HBO Max as Peterson, who was convicted in 2003 of murdering his second wife, Kathleen, after she was found dead at the bottom of their home staircase.

Kathleen's death led to a lot of theories during the investigation, including one about how an owl might've gotten into the house and attacked her, leading to her fatal fall.

Furthermore, it was uncovered that while Peterson was living in Germany, a family friend died from an intracerebral hemorrhage that led them to fall down a flight of stairs. While German police and U.S. military officials determined the death was accidental, the incident was cited during the trial as allegedly what gave Peterson the idea of how to stage Kathleen's accident years later. 

Peterson was granted a new trial eight years after his conviction when a judge ruled that a critical witness for the prosecution gave misleading testimony. He then entered an Alford plea in 2017 to voluntary manslaughter, and he was sentenced to time already served.

Peterson sat down and spoke for The Staircase documentary, which explored the entire investigation and court trial. It premiered in 2013 from creator Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, and later additions to the series were made when it came to Netflix in 2018.

Harrison Ford was originally set to star as Peterson for The Staircase, which has been in the works at Annapurna Television for a few years with The Devil All the Time director Antonio Campos as an executive producer.

Campos will now direct six out of the eight episodes, which will adapt the docuseries, as well as various books and reports on the case. Maggie Cohn of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story will serve as co-showrunner.

"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."

Firth was seen last year on screen in Supernova, in which he played a spouse to real-life friend Stanley Tucci.

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