Sky have confirmed The Staircase, starring BAFTA and Academy Award® winner Colin Firth (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, A Single Man) as Michael Peterson and Toni Collette (Knives Out, Muriel’s Wedding) as Kathleen Peterson is to premiere this spring on Sky and streaming service NOW.
Co-produced by Annapurna Television, the eight-episode limited series is written and executive produced by showrunners Antonio Campos (The Devil All The Time, Christine) and Maggie Cohn (Versace). Campos also directs six episodes, with Leigh Janiak directing two episodes. Based on a true story, The Staircase further explores the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson.
The fallout of Kathleen’s mysterious death was captured by a documentary maker and is available on Netflix.
Kathleen was found in the Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina, mansion at the bottom of the staircase on December 9, 2001. Marine Corps. veteran Michael was a novelist, newspaper columnist, and mayoral candidate when he was convicted of Kathleen’s murder in 2003. Prosecutors argued Michael bludgeoned his wife to death; he claimed she fell after consuming alcohol and Valium. However, an autopsy concluded Kathleen died from multiple injuries, including blows to the back of her head with a blunt object. Michael spent years in prison before his conviction was overturned. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to the killing with a manslaughter charge and walked free with time served.
Rosemarie DeWitt stars as Kathleen’s sister, Candace Zamperini; this will be the second time DeWitt and Collette play siblings, following “The United States of Tara.” Sophie Turner, Dane DeHaan, and Patrick Schwarzenegger portray the Peterson’s children, and Michael Stuhlbarg and Parker Posey star as attorneys.
Juliette Binoche, Olivia DeJonge, Tim Guinee, Vincent Vermignon, and Odessa Young also star.
The original documentary won a Peabody Award in 2005, with later episodic instalments updated throughout revelations in the Peterson case.
The Staircase Starts Thursday 5th May on Sky Atlantic.