Some crimes are so high-profile, so shocking, and the ensuing trials are such a media circus… that multiple streaming services are confronted with their own competing and juicy reinterpretations of the story. The Staircase murder case is one such example, with Netflix and HBO Max offering viewers different versions of the story. And in different genres, no less, with one a docuseries and the other a dramatization.
The murder case itself is something like two decades ago. And Netflix came firstin terms of an attempt to offer a streaming title linked to the saga. HBO Maxmeanwhile, he debuted his lively Colin Firth-led dramatization on the streamer just last month.
Below, we’ll talk about each version of the turn of events, which stems from the 2001 death of a woman named Kathleen Peterson. She was found, as the name of each series suggests, at the foot of the stairs of her family’s home.
IS The ladder series a true story?
Let’s start with the Netflix version of The ladder, released four years ago this month. The central figure Michael Peterson, as the streamer’s synopsis notes, is “a crime novelist accused of killing his wife Kathleen after she was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their home.”
Not only does this 13-episode series, which originally aired on ABC, not only reveal the murder itself. It also keeps track of the “16-year judicial battle” that followed. Director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, meanwhile, has added extra episodes available to stream with the whole thing on Netflix.
“Michael Peterson himself is a very strange, very complex character,” said de Lestrade Time magazine, trying to make sense, to begin with, if Peterson could have pushed his wife to death. “Of course, the man I’ve spent many days, weeks, months and years with – the man I know, it’s like there’s no way he’s going to be able to kill someone like that. But human beings are so strange and you never know. “
HBO and Netflix versions
Viewers are likely to discover Netflix The ladder docuseries again, due to the dramatization of the story just released by HBO Max. One that, we should add, has garnered considerably laudatory and enthusiastic reviews. It has even been called one of the best examples of the genre of true crime you will likely encounter.
Following these lines, it has a near-perfect critical score Rotten tomatoes (95%).
In addition to Firth, the HBO drama Max about Peterson’s suspected murder is also starring Toni Collette. “This is a project that I have been working on in one way or another since 2008,” said Antonio Campos, who directed six of the eight episodes, in a press release.
“It’s been a long and winding road, but it’s worth the wait to find partners like HBO Max, Annapurna, co-showrunner Maggie Cohn and the incredible Colin Firth to dramatize such a complex real-life story.”
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