Harrison Ford is entering the world of televised true crime, as Variety reports that the actor will headline The Staircase, a limited series based on Jean-Xavier de Lestrade's docuseries of the same name. Annapurna Television is producing the series, which will be executive produced and written by Antonio Campos – the filmmaker behind Christine and Simon Killer, as well as the (very good but you wouldn't know that because you aren't watching it) USA series The Sinner. If you're thinking "holy shit," that's definitely the appropriate reaction to this news.
Campos is one of my absolute favorite modern filmmakers, and The Staircase is one of – well, I can't say my "favorite" true crime stories, but it's certainly one of the cases I've been the most fascinated by in the past decade or so. For those unfamiliar, Ford will be playing the role of Michael Peterson, the novelist who was accused and convicted of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson, in 2001. Michael phoned 911 in the early morning hours of December 9, 2001 to report that he'd found his wife, Kathleen, barely conscious and covered in blood at the bottom of the staircase in the couple's North Carolina home. Police believed that Michael had murdered his wife and staged the scene to look like an accident, and relied on junk forensic science to prove that he bludgeoned Kathleen with a blowpoke. Michael maintained his innocence, but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade covered the trial in his acclaimed 2004 docuseries, which he updated in a two-hour sequel released on Netflix in 2018 (along with the original episodes, which the platform released as an entire series).
I'll refrain from getting into the status of Peterson's life and appeals, in case you'd rather find out by watching the series for yourself – and I highly recommend you do. Suffice to say that Peterson's guilt (or lack thereof) has long been a subject of debate (the owl theory!), and it'll be interesting to see how Campos approaches re-telling this story in a narrative format. And Harrison Ford! Doing some extremely interesting shit late in his career! This is going to be excellent.