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Toni Collette Cast Opposite Colin Firth in HBO Max Show

Antonio Campos adapts the docuseries about Michael Peterson, whose wife Kathleen died under suspicious circumstances.


Oscar-nominated actress Toni Collette has signed on to star opposite Oscar winner Colin Firth in the HBO Max crime series The Staircase.

The eight-episode limited series hails from writers Antonio Campos and Maggie Cohn, who will also serve as executive producers and showrunners on The Staircase, for which Campos will direct six of the eight episodes. Annapurna Television is producing alongside HBO Max.

The Staircase is based on the true-crime docuseries of the same name, as well as various books and reports on the case. It tells the story of American novelist Michael Peterson (Firth), his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson (Collette), a corporate executive and mother/stepmother of five.


Image via Netflix

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Collette earned an Oscar nomination for her stunning supporting turn as Haley Joel Osment‘s mother in The Sixth Sense, and she won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her dazzling work on the Showtime series United States of Tara. The Australian access is coming off acclaimed performances in Ari Aster‘s horror movie Hereditary and the celebrated Netflix series Unbelievable, which paired her with Merritt Wever.

The Netflix algorithm must love Collette, who can currently be seen alongside Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim and Shamier Anderson in Joe Penna‘s survival thriller Stowaway, which is now streaming. Collette was last seen in Charlie Kaufman‘s Netflix movie I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and she’ll return to the streamer for the series adaptation of Karin Slaughter‘s novel Pieces of Her.

Up next for Collette is the inspiration Sundance drama Dream Horse, which will then be followed by Guillermo del Toro‘s star-studded Nightmare Alley. Collette is also prepping her own directorial debut, Writers and Lovers. She’s represented by CAA and Jen Turner at Finley Management.

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