According to Variety, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Toni Collette has officially signed on to star opposite Oscar winner Colin Firth in HBO Max’s upcoming limited series adaptation of The Staircase. It’s based upon Netflix’s true crime docuseries of the same name. Collette is set to portray the role of Kathleen Peterson, a corporate executive, mother, stepmother of five and wife of American novelist Michael Peterson who was convicted for the murder of Kathleen in 2003.
Based on Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s true-crime docuseries and various books and reports on the case, the limited series is an exploration of the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. In 2001, Peterson was arrested for the murder of his second wife after he had claimed that she died after falling down the stairs at their home due to consuming alcohol and Valium. However, the autopsy report refutes Peterson’s claims because it was concluded that she died from sustaining multiple injuries, including blows to the back of her head with a blunt object.
The Staircase will be written and directed by Antonio Campos (The Devil All the Time, The Sinner) and Maggie Cohn (American Crime Story), who are both serving as showrunners. The Max Original is a co-production between HBO Max and Annapurna Television, with Campos and Cohn as executive producers.
The Australian actress is best known for her acclaimed performances in films like The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine, Jesus Henry Christ, Hereditary, and Knives Out, as well as TV shows like United States of Tara and Unbelievable. For her role as Lynne Sear in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She will next be seen in Guillermo del Toro’s horror pic Nightmare Alley and Netflix’s thriller drama series Pieces of Her.