The Staircase Filmmakers Have Scathing Words For HBO’s Adaptation

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According to Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and his team, the portrayals being shown of them in HBO Max’s “The Staircase” are inaccurate and diminish the credibility and success of the original docuseries. Via Vanity Fair, they claimed that the show’s fifth episode, “The Beating Heart” — which is due out May 19 — wrongly implies that editor Sophie Brunet was working on the docuseries while in a romantic relationship with Michael Peterson. The truth, however, is that Brunet had already departed the project and become an editor on the 2004 film “Holy Lola” when she began seeing Peterson. According to de Lestrade and his team, the inaccuracy implies that the editing in “The Staircase” might have been done in a way to favor Peterson or show him in a more innocent light — something de Lestrade, Brunet, and the other docuseries producers are all reportedly disgusted by.

“We gave [Campos] all the access he wanted, and I really trusted the man,” de Lestrade told Vanity Fair. “So that’s why today I’m very uncomfortable, because I feel that I’ve been betrayed in a way,” he explained. “I understand if you dramatize. But when you attack the credibility of my work, that’s really not acceptable to me.” Producer Allyson Luchak added, “To malign or discredit our filmmaking by making it seem as though we were biased from the beginning is insulting and professionally damaging…I am literally sick thinking that people will believe the dramatized version of the filmmaking scenes are based on the truth. They are not.”

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