A war of words has erupted between the filmmakers who presented audiences with two different versions, nearly two decades apart, of the real mystery behind The staircase.
French director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s 2004 Peabody Award-winning documentary told the story of the lucky Peterson family who lived in a luxurious mansion in North Carolina, until Kathleen Peterson’s body was discovered. at the foot of a staircase and her husband Michael stand trial. for murder.
More recently, Antonio Campos adapted the same story into an HBO Max television drama series starring Colin Firth and Toni Collette.
De Lestrade and his team enjoyed privileged access to Michael Peterson and his family during the trial and the years that followed, and Campos’ drama highlights this close bond, including a romantic relationship between Michael Peterson and documentary editor Sophie Brunet.
The drama also depicts the documentary team exercising editorial control in ways that it seems could have influenced court decisions regarding the widower’s fate.
De Lestrade, who sold Campos the rights to the story and gave him access to the archive, told The Times of London of his fury at the way these events were portrayed in the drama: “I couldn’t believe it. , that was so inaccurate.”
He also said Vanity Lounge: “We gave [Campos] all the access he wanted, and I really trusted the man. That’s why today I’m very uncomfortable, because I feel like I’ve been betrayed in some way.
In the magazine, Brunet also pointed out that her relationship with Peterson didn’t begin until much later than portrayed in the drama, ended before she was finished editing the film, and her editorial decisions at the time of writing. production of the documentary were not compromised.
According to vanity loungede Lestrade and fellow producer Matthieu Belghiti have now sent a letter to Campos demanding that “offensive allegations be removed from episode five before it airs publicly” or that the series have a disclaimer added to each episode, stressing that the story is “inspired” by real-life events. Campos had not responded to the magazine at the time of publication.