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Colin Firth to make long-awaited return to television in new true-crime series

The actor is set to star in HBO's limited series The Staircase

colin firth
Eve Crosbie
Eve CrosbieTV & Film Writer
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Colin Firth is set to star in his first major television role in over 25 years and we couldn't be more excited!

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The Oscar winner will take on the lead role in HBO's upcoming true-crime series The Staircase, a dramatisation of one of America's most famous - and debated - murder cases.

He will star as real-life novelist Michael Peterson, who was accused of killing his wife Kathleen Peterson at their sprawling North Carolina home in 2001. True-crime fanatics will be familiar with the story as not only has it been covered by a number of podcasts, but it was also the subject of a 13-part documentary.

WATCH: Colin Firth latest film Supernova is sure to make you emotional

The docuseries was directed by French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and followed Michael's arrest, trial and subsequent conviction of his wife's murder. Following its initial release in 2004, it gained a cult following thanks to its bizarre twists and theories proposed by Michael's defence team (ahem, the Owl Theory).

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In 2018, the case received renewed interest after the documentary, also titled The Staircase, was made available to watch on Netflix

The eight-part drama, which will no doubt recreate some of the documentary's most compelling moments, will also star Hereditary and Knives Out actress Toni Collette and Rosemary DeWitt. While Toni is set to play Michael's wife Kathleen, Rosemary, who viewers would have most recently seen in Little Fires Everywhere, will play Candace Zamperini, her sister. More casting is expected to be announced.

toni collette© Photo: Getty Images

Knives Out star Toni Collette will star opposite Colin in the new limited series

The series will be directed by Antonio Campos, who served as a producer on American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace and directed Tom Holland's 2020 Netflix hit The Devil All the Time. Speaking about the series, he said in a statement: "This has been a project I have been working on in one way or another since 2008.

"It’s been a long and winding road, but well worth the wait to be able to find partners like HBO Max, Annapurna, co-showrunner Maggie Cohn and the incredible Colin Firth to dramatize such a complex true-life story."

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The Staircase will mark Colin's first lead TV role since his breakout performance in 1995's Pride and Prejudice series. While he has appeared in a handful of television films and shorts over the past 25 years, Colin has mainly appeared on the big screen, starring in the likes of The King's Speech, Bridget Jones's Diary, Love Actually and, more recently, Supernova

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