HBO Max has enlisted another acclaimed actor to join its forthcoming limited series adaptation of The Staircase. Deadline brings word that Emmy nominee Michael Stuhlbarg has officially signed on for one of the leading roles in Antonio Campos and Maggie Cohn’s true crime miniseries, based on the real life story of Michael Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his second wife in 2003. Stuhlbarg is set to portray the role of David Rudolf, the criminal defense attorney of Peterson, who will be portrayed by Colin Firth.
Stuhlbarg is best known for starring in a number of acclaimed films including, A Serious Man, Lincoln, Hitchcock, Steve Jobs, The Post, Call Me By Your Name, and The Shape of Water. On top of an acclaimed film career, he also appeared in popular TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, and The Looming Tower. Stuhbarg will next be seen reuniting with Luca Guadagnino and Timothée Chalamet in the upcoming romantic horror film Bones & All as well as in Hulu’s limited series Dopesick starring opposite Michael Keaton.
The limited series will be led by Oscar winner Colin Firth as Michael and acclaimed actress Toni Collette as Kathleen. Joining are Juliette Binoche, Rosemarie DeWitt, Parker Posey, Sophie Turner, Dane DeHaan, Odessa Young, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Olivia DeJonge, and Tim Guinee.
The Staircase is expected to explore 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.
Based on Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s true-crime docuseries and various books and reports on the case, 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.