When Michael Peterson gets indicted for the murder of his wife Kathleen Peterson in HBO Max’s crime series ‘The Staircase,’ the novelist permits a documentary crew from France to film his life and legal proceedings. Jean-Xavier, the director of the documentary, captures Michael’s private and personal engagements, his trial, and the significant developments that happen in the case. In reality, as in the show, Jean-Xavier AKA Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s documentary series, titled ‘Soupçons’ AKA ‘The Staircase,’ became a significant part of Michael’s life. If you are wondering about the current whereabouts of the director, here’s everything you need to know!
Who is Jean-Xavier?
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade was born on July 1, 1963, in Mirande, France. In the ‘90s, Jean became a TV movie director. He started to direct ‘The Staircase’ after winning an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for ‘Murder on a Sunday Morning.’ The director initially envisioned a two-hour documentary for HBO, revolving around the murder of Kathleen Peterson. He was attracted by the opportunity to discover more about Michael Peterson as a “strong character.” Jean seemingly filmed everything that was involved with Michael at the time. He interviewed multiple individuals associated with Michael, including Michael’s lawyer David Rudolf.
Even when there was some hinderances that occurred while filming, he insisted on filming significant developments associated with the case. Initially, the director interviewed the then-DA Jim Hardin and then-ADA Freda Black. However, the prosecution eventually decided against associating with Jean for the documentary. Jean had to drop the initial plan of a two-hour documentary after he filmed hundreds of hours of footage. With 800 hours of material, the suitable option he had in front of him was to turn the project into a docuseries.
The first eight episodes of the docuseries were released in 2004, the next two in 2013, and the final three in 2018. Jean’s docuseries not only captured Michael’s trial but also was used in the trial by the defense when Michael moved forward with an appeal in 2011. In an interview given in 2018, Michael described the docuseries as a “powerful instrument” that apparently played a part in overturning his conviction.
Where is Jean-Xavier Now?
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade is currently one of the most renowned directors in the French television industry. In addition, he also works as a writer and producer as well. After the initial 2004 release of ‘The Staircase,’ he went on to direct several projects partially or completely, which include ‘Welcome Home,’ ‘Three Times Manon,’ ‘Malaterra,’ and ‘Manon, 20 Years.’ In 2013, his ‘The Staircase II: The Last Chance’ was released. He is also the director of HBO’s ‘Laetitia.’
Currently, Jean is working on the second season of the series ‘The Inside Game,’ which he created with Antoine Lacomblez. He is a co-executive producer of HBO Max’s ‘The Staircase,’ executive producer of ‘Trial 4,’ and producer of ‘The Inside Game.’ In 2011, he joined a production company named What’s Up films and remains a member of the team of the company, based in Paris, France. Jean is currently the President of Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD AKA Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers), a French collecting society responsible for the performance rights of several artists. The director has chosen to keep his relationship status private.
Read More: The Staircase: Where Are They Now?