The Queen in the North is returning to the realm of HBO. Sophie Turner, who starred on the network’s Game of Thrones for eight seasons, has been cast in The Staircase, a limited series about the novelist Michael Peterson and the mysterious death of his second wife, Kathleen Peterson.
Turner joins a handful of big names in the upcoming project, including Colin Firth and Toni Collette. Behind the scenes, showrunners Antonio Campos (The Devil All the Time) and Maggie Cohn (American Crime Story) are writing and executive-producing the series. Here’s what else to know.
The Staircase is based on a true story.
Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of the staircase of her North Carolina home in 2001. When her husband, Michael, made the 911 call, he said that she had accidentally fallen. He was soon after charged with first-degree murder, according to Esquire.
Michael was found guilty of beating his wife to death in 2003 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole, per WRAL. But he was granted a new trial in 2011 after a judge ruled that a key witness had lied during testimony. In 2017, he was released from custody.
The saga was first brought to the screen as a docuseries by French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, which premiered on French TV in 2004 and won a Peabody Award in 2006. It was brought to Netflix in 2018, with additional episodes sharing an update on Michael’s life. In the more recent footage, he still maintains that he’s innocent.
Here’s the cast.
Colin Firth will star as Michael Peterson, while Toni Collette will play Kathleen. Turner has been cast as Margaret Ratliff, one of the Petersons’ adopted daughters.
Rosemarie DeWitt, recently seen in Little Fires Everywhere, will play Kathleen’s sister, Candace Zamperini. Parker Posey (Dazed and Confused) will play Freda Black, an assistant district attorney and prosecutor, per Variety. Juliette Binoche has also been cast, but details about her character are undisclosed.
The release date is still unknown.
It’s unclear when production will begin, let alone when the series will premiere. However, we do know that there will be eight episodes total, six of them directed by Campos.
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