Harrison Ford is old enough to remember when TV was considered a major step down for any film actor. That’s no longer the case, and the veteran is jumping on the bandwagon. Per Variety, Ford will star in an adaptation of The Staircase, the documentary series which detailed the trial of Michael Peterson, a man accused of killing his wife in 2001.
Peterson claims his wife died after falling down their staircase, but prosecutors argued that he actually murdered her with a fireplace tool and staged her body to make it look like an accident. The series was a hit upon initial release, and had two follow ups, with the latest being a Netflix Original. The streaming giant helped bring more eyeballs to the series and likely led to this announcement.
Ford will star as Peterson, while Antônio Campos will serve as writer and co-executive producer. Campos has tackled dark true stories before, having helmed the 2016 film Christine, which revolved around the story of a local news reporter who infamously committed suicide on air.
Campos has also worked on a successful TV show before in the form of The Sinner. That itself was a mystery-based show, but didn’t have the fascinating true story behind it. This is actually the kind of project that used to be a staple of Ford’s oeuvre.
In the 80s and 90s he was consistently starring in thrillers like this, with both The Fugitive and Presumed Innocent standing out as fictional versions of this real-life Peterson case. As the film industry changed, those movies slowly died out. Perhaps Ford sees an opportunity to have another crack at one of those roles, but this time on the smaller screen.
Annapurna Television will produce the series. We’ll wait and see which network or streaming service it ends up on. Considering the juicy true story and the star power, expect a bidding war.