The Staircase: Colin Firth and Toni Collette star in dramatic retelling of the cult Netflix true crime documentary

Find out everything you need to know about true crime drama The Staircase, based on the thrilling true crime documentary on Netflix and starring Colin Firth and Toni Collette.

By James Descombes Updated: 3 May 2022 - 3.16pm
Colin Firth and Toni Collette in The Staircase

Stream The Staircase weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW from 5 May.

The Staircase is a dramatic retelling of the hit Netflix documentary of the same name, which aired on the streaming platform back in 2018.

The new crime drama stars Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Bridget Jones’s Diary) as Michael Peterson and Toni Collette (Pieces of Her, Knives Out) as his wife, Kathleen Peterson.

Discover all you need to know about HBO drama The Staircase below.

Best true crime documentaries on Netflix: The Staircase to Tiger King >

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What's the plot of The Staircase?

Based on a true story, The Staircase further explores the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson.

It follows the Netflix documentary The Staircase, which was released in 2018 with three new episodes. It examined a case which had been rumbling on since 2001, when novelist Michael rang the police to report that he’d found his wife, Kathleen, unconscious and covered in blood at the bottom of their staircase.

But it wasn't long before police investigators made Michael the prime suspect. The murder accusations and the revelation that Michael was bisexual caused fractures within the family, with some members standing by him and some walking away.

In 2003, after one of the longest trials in North Carolina history, Michael was sentenced to life in prison. Then in December 2011 he was released. But that wasn’t the end of the story, as Michael prepared for a retrial. 

Colin Firth as Michael Peterson in The Staircase

What's the release date of The Staircase?

The Staircase is available to watch on Sky Atlantic and NOW from Thursday 5 May.  

How many episodes are in The Staircase?

There are eight episodes in The Staircase. The first three episodes will be available from 5 May, with the rest of the episodes released weekly.

Who is in the cast for The Staircase?

Colin Firth and Toni Collette play husband and wife Michael and Kathleen Peterson. 

Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), below, and Odessa Young (The Stand) play Michael Peterson’s adopted daughters Margaret and Martha Ratliff. 

2022 Patrick McMullan

Michael Stuhlbarg (Your Honor, Dopesick), below, plays David Rudolph, Michael Peterson’s lawyer who worked pro bono on the case. 

2020 Getty Images

Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Patrick Schwarzenegger (Moxie) play Michael’s sons from a previous marriage, Clayton and Todd.

Rosemarie DeWitt (Little Fires Everywhere) plays Kathleen’s sister, Candace Zamperini. Olivia DeJonge (The Society) plays Kathleen’s daughter, Caitlin.

Tim Guinee (Inventing Anna) plays Michael’s brother, Bill. Parker Posey (Lost in Space) plays Assistant District Attorney, Freda Black. 

Is there a trailer for The Staircase?

You can see the full trailer for The Staircase on Sky Atlantic and NOW below:

Stream The Staircase weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW from 5 May.


Images copyright: Warner Brothers