The Producers Of HBO Max’s ‘The Staircase’ Say Their Show Is ‘Very Much, Earnestly An Homage’ To The Original Docuseries

While the critical response to HBO’s new limited series The Staircase has been overwhelmingly positive, with Uproxx’s Carrie Whittmer describing it as a “masterpiece that redefines true crime,” not everyone is enamored of the dramatic retelling of the 2001 murder of Kathleen Peterson, and the subsequent trial of her husband, Michael.

Shortly after the eight-episode series, which stars Colin Firth and Toni Collette, premiered, director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade—who spent 14 years embedded with the Peterson family and Michael’s legal team to tell the story of his legal roller coaster—told Vanity Fair that he felt “betrayed” by Antonio Campos, who created the scripted series.

De Lestrade, who is portrayed in the series by French actor Vincent Vermignon, believes that Campos’ narrative suggests that the documentarian and his team—including Sophie Brunet, who entered into a romantic relationship with Peterson—crafted and edited their docuseries in a way that might help exonerate Michael or help with his appeals, a charge he adamantly denies. “I understand if you dramatize,” de Lestrade told Vanity Fair. “But when you attack the credibility of my work, that’s really not acceptable to me.” But as Campos told The Wrap, that was never their intention:

I have nothing but a deep respect and admiration for Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and for Sophie and for everyone involved in this documentary. And from the beginning, we were always doing something that was a dramatization inspired by true events. We approached everything in this story with as much care and love as we possibly could and infused that into their characters and had nothing but respect and admiration for the characters that we were creating of them…

None of us would dispute that the documentary is a masterpiece. And that’s how we perceive it. The characters in our story were making something that is a masterpiece.”

“The product that we made is, I think, very much, earnestly an homage to the thing that they created,” added executive producer Maggie Cohn.

Also: The owl did it!

(Via The Wrap)