The Staircase: GoT Star Sophie Turner Joins HBO Max True Crime Drama
HBO is keeping it in the family, casting Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner in the dramatized version of the Michael Peterson limited series The Staircase for HBO Max. The Staircase started out as a documentary from director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade in 2004 and became one of the essential True Crime documentaries of the 2000s. It told the story of Michael Peterson, a crime novelist accused of killing his wife Kathleen Peterson after she was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their home, and the 16-year judicial battle that followed. De Lestrade was granted unusual access to the case immediately following Kathleen's death in 2001 in Durham, NC. Michael, a local public figure and successful novelist became the prime suspect and was subsequently convicted.
He is currently still in prison trying to appeal and insisting on his innocence. Margaret Ratliff and her sister Marth were adopted by Peterson after their mother Elizabeth Ratliff, a friend of the Petersons, died in Germany. Elizabeth Ratliff was also found dead at the bottom of a staircase. Margaret Ratliff is still convinced of her father's innocence. Director De Lestrade added more updated information in a new version of the documentary that became a 13-part series on Netflix in 2018.
The new 8-part drama series on HBO Max will feature Turner with Colin Firth, Toni Collette, Juliette Binoche, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Parker Posey. Firth will play Michael Peterson and Collette will play his wife Kathleen whose suspicious death has landed her husband in prison. The series will be directed by Antonio Campos and scripted by American Crime Story writer Maggie Cohn. Turner will play Margaret Ratliff, one of Peterson's adopted daughters, DeWitt will play Candace Zamperini, Kathleen Peterson's sister; Posey will play Freda Black, the assistant district attorney and prosecutor in the Peterson case. Juliet Binoche's character has yet to be revealed. The original documentary series of The Staircase is streaming on Netflix.