HBO Max has released the first teaser for its upcoming true crime miniseries The staircase. The series is based on the true story of Michael Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his second wife in 2003. The limited drama is set to debut May 5 with the first three episodes, followed by a new episode each week until June. 9.
The video features a seemingly happy and loving family unsettled by the sudden death of family matriarch Kathleen Peterson. But what appears to be an unfortunate accident metastasizes into a chaotic murder case, when Kathleen’s husband, Michael, is charged with felony.
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The staircase will be directed by Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth as Michael and acclaimed actress Toni Collette as Kathleen. They are joined by Michael Stuhlbarg, Juliette Binoche, Dane DeHaan, Olivia DeJonge, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tim Guinee, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sophie Turner, Vincent Vermignon, Odessa Young and Parker Posey.
“Based on a true story, the limited drama explores the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson,” reads the logline.
Peterson was arrested for the murder of Kathleen in 2001. He initially claimed her death occurred following a fall down the stairs, delirious from a combination of alcohol and Valium. However, the autopsy report refutes Peterson’s claims, as it was concluded that she died from multiple injuries. These included multiple blows to the back of the head with a blunt object.
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The staircase is written and directed by creator Antonio Campos (the devil all the time, The fisherman) and Maggie Cohn (American crime history), who both serve as showrunners. The Max Original is a co-production between HBO Max and Annapurna Television, with Campos and Cohn serving as executive producers.