Since the broadcast of the HBO series, adapted from his documentary “Suspicions” devoted to the Michael Peterson affair, the French director has been at the heart of a controversy. He shares his anger with us and delivers his version of this imbroglio.
Antonio Campos signs The Staircase, a miniseries airing on HBO Max since early May. And creates controversy in the United States because the main protagonist, Michael Peterson, accused of the murder of his wife Kathleen in December 2001 in Durham (North Carolina), then released by the courts, feels dirty and betrayed. Peterson indeed accuses director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (Oscar winner for An ideal culprit and multi-awarded for all of his films) for having sold the rights to his documentary series on the case, Staircase (suspicions, 2004), without having informed him. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, also furious at the accusations of bias and conflicts of interest in the HBO adaptation, speaks out for the first time to clarify things.
How did you meet Antonio Campos, the director of the miniseries broadcast on HBO Max?
He contacted us in 2008, Denis Poncet [coproducteur de la série documentaire, disparu en 2014, ndlr] and me. Antonio Campos, very young at the time, had seen Staircase in the United States and he was fascinated by this news item and what we had done with it. He told us of his wish to adapt Peterson’s story to the cinema by integrating the role of our team in the process of shooting a documentary. His perspective was to follow justice seeking one truth and our team seeking another. It seemed to me both a reflection and an interesting mise en abyme through fiction.
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