Brow Beat

HBO’s The Case Against Adnan Syed Will Turn the Serial Story Into a Documentary

Adnan Syed
Adnan Syed
Syed family/HBO

If you’re still seeking to fill the void that remains after having experienced Sarah Koenig’s addictive first season of Serial, HBO just announced an upcoming docuseries that might recapture some of that magic. The Case Against Adnan Syed, a four-hour exploration of the disappearance and murder of Hae Min Lee and her boyfriend’s subsequent (and potentially wrongful) conviction, will return to the puzzling 1999 crime. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg is helming the project, with an original score from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. HBO describes the film as follows:

The Case Against Adnan Syed will offer a cinematic look at the life and 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed, from the genesis of their high school relationship, to the original police investigation and trial, through to the current day, when Syed faces a new trial after serving 18 years in jail. With exclusive access to Adnan Syed, his family and his lawyers, director Amy Berg has been closely following their efforts to obtain justice, with the outcome still to be determined—and possibly shaped by the investigation pursued within the series itself.

If you think that just sounds like Serial for your eyeballs, you might be correct. Still, it will be interesting to see a visual rendering of the case made famous by the This American Life spin-off, especially with Syed’s newly vacated conviction and pending retrial. Berg previously tackled wrongful conviction in her West Memphis Three doc West of Memphis. She also received an Oscar nod for Deliver Us from Evil, her documentary on sex abuse cases in the Catholic church, and directed the controversial doc An Open Secret, on sex abuse in Hollywood. A release date for The Case Against Adnan Syed has yet to be announced.