HBO Max Shares First Look at Colin Firth in 'The Staircase' and Julia Child Series
By Stacy Lambe
HBO and HBO Max are gearing up for a must-see spring TV schedule, with a number of new, star-studded series slated to premiere in the next few months. During the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, the networks shared new images for the biographical series Julia;The Staircase, an adaptation of the popular true-crime docuseries; the series adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife; David Simon's return to Baltimore with We Own This City and more.
Get your first look at what's to come:
The Staircase (HBO Max)
Starring Colin Firth as Michael Peterson, The Staircase is the anticipated limited series recounting the events surrounding the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson (Toni Collette). True-crime fans may remember hearing about this when the original docuseries was updated and released on Netflix.
“I was struck by the quality of the writing,” Firth said, referring to the scripts written by executive producers and showrunners Antonio Campos and Maggie Cohn, who not only sourced the documentary but also pulled from Diane Fanning’s novel, Written in Blood, news coverage from the time and interviews with those involved in the case.
And even though this story has been told a number of times before, Firth promised that the scripted version “messes with your expectations.”
Rounding out the cast in this twist-filled story are Michael Stuhlbarg, Juliette Binoche, Dane DeHaan, Olivia DeJonge, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tim Guinee, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sophie Turner, Vincent Vermignon, Odessa Young and Parker Posey.
The Time Traveler’s Wife (HBO)
Also debuting this spring is the series adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife starring Rose Leslie as Clare Abshire, Theo James as Henry DeTamble, Desmin Borges as Gomez, and Natasha Lopez as Charisse.
“This is very much a story about grownup love,” writer and executive producer Steven Moffat said of the series, which is adapted from Audrey Niffenegger’s beloved novel about an intricate and magical love story.
Directed by executive producer David Nutter, the first season will include six episodes.
Julia (HBO Max)
Premiering on March 31, the eight-episode series inspired by the life and career of Julia Child will chronicle the early days of the long-running TV series, The French Chef.
The series stars Sarah Lancashire as Child, David Hyde Pierce as Paul Cushing Child, with Bebe Neuwirth, Brittany Bradford, Fran Kranz and Fiona Glascott rounding out the cast as key figures in Child’s life.
While not to be confused with the 2009 film Julie & Julia starring Meryl Streep, Pierce quipped with the press that this series is the closest chance he’ll get to playing Stanley Tucci, who also portrayed Child’s husband.
Jokes aside, Pierce said that the reason Child is still so popular today is because “she was one of a kind and eternally fascinating.” Adding to that, Bradford noted that the chef had “an authenticity to her that people gravitated towards.” And that certainly will be seen onscreen here.
We Own This City (HBO)
Created and executive produced by George Pelecanos and David Simon, We Own This City brings to life reporter Justin Fenton’s book about the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force alongside the moral collapse of the city.
The series features a large ensemble led by Jon Berthnal and includes Wunmi Mosaku, Jamie Hector, McKinley Belcher III, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Josh Charles, Dagmara Domińczyk, Rob Brown, Don Harvey, David Corenswet, Larry Mitchell, Ian Duff, Delaney Williams and Lucas Van Engen.
The six-episode limited series will debut April 25.
The Survivor (HBO)
Directed by Barry Levinson, The Survivor is based on the true story of Harry Haft (Ben Foster), who survives the horrors of Auschwitz while being forced to compete in boxing matches with his fellow prisoners for the amusement of his captors.
In addition to Foster, the film also stars Vicky Krieps as Miriam Wofsoniker, Billy Magnussen as Schneider as well as Peter Sarsgaard, Saro Emirze, Dar Zuzovsky, Danny DeVito and John Leguizamo.
While the film is largely about the human spirit amid this survival story, there’s also an eternal love driving Haft. “The complexity of it is interesting,” Levinson said of the layers to this story, adding, “It is a love story in the strangest of ways.”
The film will debut Wednesday, April 27 in honor of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).
Winning Time (HBO)
In addition to the previously released trailer, HBO shared new images of the upcoming sports drama from filmmaker Adam McKay. Debuting on March 6, the 10-episode scripted series will chronicle the rise of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team in the 1980s.
“My first love is basketball,” Quincy Isaiah said of portraying a young version of Magic Johnson, who is recounting his own story for Apple TV+, adding that it was “a dream.”
The newcomer is supported by an expansive ensemble cast includes John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Tracy Letts as Jack McKinney, Jason Segel as Paul Westhead, Julianne Nicholson as Cranny McKinney, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr. and Sally Field as Jessie Buss.
In addition to these new series, HBO also revealed that Barry is finally returning with its third season this spring.