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HBO Max on Thursday released a new trailer for The Staircase, a miniseries centered around the case of North Carolina crime novelist Michael Peterson, played by Colin Firth, who is convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen, portrayed by Toni Collette.

The miniseries examines the Peterson family’s travails ahead of Kathleen being found dead at the bottom of a staircase in the family home on December 9, 2001; and the murder allegations against Michael, who authorities said killed his spouse by throwing her down a staircase.

In the trailer, Kathleen is seen toasting her relatives during a family dinner: ‘I’d like to make a toast to so many better days ahead; every day is going to be an adventure, so always stop and think: This is one of the happiest days of my life.’

The latest: HBO Max on Thursday released a new trailer for The Staircase, a miniseries centered around the case of North Carolina crime novelist Michael Peterson (played by Colin Firth, 61) who is convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen

The latest: HBO Max on Thursday released a new trailer for The Staircase, a miniseries centered around the case of North Carolina crime novelist Michael Peterson (played by Colin Firth, 61) who is convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen

The latest: HBO Max on Thursday released a new trailer for The Staircase, a miniseries centered around the case of North Carolina crime novelist Michael Peterson (played by Colin Firth, 61) who is convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen

The trailer then transitions to a police scene outside the family home following Kathleen’s death, with audio of Michael reporting the incident to 911 operators.

‘My wife, she had an accident, she fell down the stairs – she’s not breathing,’ he said.

Michael is seen looking to establish his innocence to his family, legal team and jurors that he did not murder his spouse, calling the probe a ‘witch hunt.’

The miniseries also takes a look at how the family functions before and after the death of Kathleen, as Michael is heard saying, ‘I think there are not many families like us – we’re not perfect, but we stick together.’

Toni Collette plays the role of Kathleen Peterson in the HBO Max miniseries

Toni Collette plays the role of Kathleen Peterson in the HBO Max miniseries

Toni Collette plays the role of Kathleen Peterson in the HBO Max miniseries 

In the trailer, Kathleen is seen toasting her relatives during a family dinner

In the trailer, Kathleen is seen toasting her relatives during a family dinner

In the trailer, Kathleen is seen toasting her relatives during a family dinner

The miniseries examines the events leading to Kathleen's death and the massive fallout

The miniseries examines the events leading to Kathleen's death and the massive fallout

The miniseries examines the events leading to Kathleen’s death and the massive fallout 

Michael is heard saying in the clip, 'I think there are not many families like us - we're not perfect, but we stick together'

Michael is heard saying in the clip, 'I think there are not many families like us - we're not perfect, but we stick together'

Michael is heard saying in the clip, ‘I think there are not many families like us – we’re not perfect, but we stick together’

Elsewhere, relatives are seen torn about Michael’s culpability in Kathleen’s death, arguing with one another and visibly anguished amid the grim turn of events.

The series also examines the intense media scrutiny surrounding the case, as well as the 2004 French docuseries also titled The Staircase.

Rounding out the cast includes Michael Stuhlbarg portraying Peterson’s defense lawyer David Rudolph; Patrick Schwarzenegger and Dane DeHaan as Michael’s respective sons Todd and Clayton; Olivia DeJonge playing Kathleen’s biological daughter Caitlin Atwater; and Sophie Turner and Odessa Young as Michael’s respective adopted daughters Margaret and Martha Ratliff.

Firth, 61, opened up to Deadline in February about the way he approached the role, noting that he ‘didn’t communicate with Michael Peterson’ and focused on the character depicted in the script.

‘I felt the way the script was structured and just the whole approach of this was its own ecosystem, so to speak,’ the Academy Award-winning actor said. ‘These are created characters but we all know what the source is. 

‘We all know that these characters have names of living people, but it’s very carefully calibrated to tell the story in a certain way. I felt that I wanted to keep my inspiration, my motivation, and the sense of the source material, as much as possible contained within the script and the way it was written.

Firth opened up to Deadline in February about the way he approached the role, noting that he 'didn’t communicate with Michael Peterson' and focused on the character depicted in the script

Firth opened up to Deadline in February about the way he approached the role, noting that he 'didn’t communicate with Michael Peterson' and focused on the character depicted in the script

Firth opened up to Deadline in February about the way he approached the role, noting that he ‘didn’t communicate with Michael Peterson’ and focused on the character depicted in the script

Patrick Schwarzenegger plays the role of Todd Peterson in the production

Patrick Schwarzenegger plays the role of Todd Peterson in the production

Patrick Schwarzenegger plays the role of Todd Peterson in the production 

The Staircase examines the strife within the Peterson family amid the death and trial

The Staircase examines the strife within the Peterson family amid the death and trial

The Staircase examines the strife within the Peterson family amid the death and trial 

He continued: ‘I felt that that could have been skewed in some way if I had personal connections, during the shooting of this, with Michael Peterson and other people concerned. If I’d had a personal response to the meeting, it might have prevented me from tuning into this world of varying possibilities that had been created.’

Michael Peterson has continually denied responsibility for his wife’s death. He was convicted in her death in 2003, and was re-tried until he eventually accepted an Alford plea in 2017, which enabled him to take a reduced manslaughter sentence while not admitting guilt in his wife’s death, and be released from custody.

The forthcoming miniseries is set to debut with three episodes on HBO Max May 5

The forthcoming miniseries is set to debut with three episodes on HBO Max May 5

The forthcoming miniseries is set to debut with three episodes on HBO Max May 5

Following the plea, Michael declared his innocence, saying of the legal move, according to the AP: ‘Right now, I can live with this. It’s not fair, It’s not right. I’m innocent. This deal is not a good one for me … it is a great deal for the district attorney.

‘The second most difficult thing I ever did in my life was to sit through that trial and listen to lies, perjury, fake evidence, made-up evidence, withheld evidence, unconstitutional searches so many times, I wanted to jump up and scream, “Liar! This is not right.”‘

The Staircase, which is directed by Antonio Campos, is slated to debut with three episodes on HBO Max May 5, and release new episodes on a weekly basis through June 9.

Source: dailymail

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