EXCLUSIVE: Patrick Schwarzenegger has joined the formidable cast of The Staircase, HBO Max’s limited series drama adaptation based on the true-crime docuseries. He joins previously announced Colin Firth, Toni Collette, Rosemarie DeWitt, Juliette Binoche, Parker Posey, Sophie Turner and Odessa Young.
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The eight-episode series, from Christine director Antonio Campos and American Crime Story writer Maggie Cohn, explores the life of Michael Peterson (Firth), his sprawling North Carolina family and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen (Collette).
Schwarzenegger will play Todd Peterson, Michael Peterson’s (Firth) son.
The Staircase is written and executive produced by Campos and Cohn, who also serve as showrunners. HBO Max co-produces with Annapurna TV.
The series is based on Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s docuseries and various books and reports on the case of Michael Peterson, who was convicted in 2003 of murdering Kathleen two years earlier. The charge was reduced to manslaughter in 2017, and Peterson subsequently was released from prison. He had claimed his wife died after falling down the stairs at their home after consuming alcohol and Valium, but an autopsy concluded she died from multiple injuries, including blows to the back of her head with a blunt object.
Schwarzenegger recently starred in the Netflix film Moxie, directed by Amy Poehler, and the sci-fi thriller Warning, directed by Agata Alexander. He appeared opposite Michael Shannon in Echo Boomers and starred in the supernatural thriller Daniel Isn’t Real. In TV, he will next be seen in a key recurring role opposite Chris Pratt in the upcoming Amazon series Terminal List. Schwarzenegger is repped by UTA, Management 360 and Patrick Knapp at Goodman Genow.
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