Parker Posey Joins HBO Max’s Michael Peterson Crime Drama ‘The Staircase’
The Golden Globe-nominated actress joins the previously announced Colin Firth, Toni Collette, Juliette Binoche and Rosemarie DeWitt for the drama based on the life and trial of author Michael Peterson. In 2001, Peterson was accused of killing his wife, Kathleen. He had claimed his wife’s death resulted from her falling down the stairs of their North Carolina home, but an autopsy found that she had died due to blows to the back of the head with a blunt object.
Posey is set to play Freda Black, the relentless assistant district attorney and prosecutor in the infamous trial. Firth plays Peterson, with Collette starring as his wife, Kathleen. Meanwhile, DeWitt will play Peterson’s sister, Candace Zamperini. It has not yet been revealed who Binoche will play in the limited series.
The series is written and executive produced by showrunners Antonio Campos (The Sinner) and Maggie Cohn (American Crime Story) and is based on the various books and reports of the Peterson case. It will also take inspiration from the Jean-Xavier de Lestrade docuseries which covered the trial extensively in 2004, with further updated episodes released on Netflix in 2018.
Peterson was convicted for his wife’s murder in 2003 but spent the following years claiming his innocence and trying to clear his name. In 2017, the charge was reduced to manslaughter, and Peterson was subsequently released from prison.
The Staircase marks the latest TV show for Posey, who recently played Dr. Harris in Netflix’s Lost in Space and guest-starred in Hulu’s High Fidelity. She’s also had recurring appearances in the dark comedy series Search Party, which last year landed on HBO Max after been moved from TBS. The indie-film veteran has also appeared in movies such as Best In Show, Dazed and Confused, Kicking and Screaming, and most recently, Elsewhere.