In 2014, a nation was gripped by Serial, a podcast that introduced Adnan Syed and the murder of his then-girlfriend Hae Min Lee to the world, kicking off a true crime boomlet from which we are still recovering. Four years later, we will get The Case Against Adnan Syed, a documentary series on HBO, directed by Amy Berg.
Syed was convicted of the 1999 murder of Lee, and his conviction and the cirucmstances surrounding it were the focus of Serial, produced by the creators of This American Life, and hosted by Sara Koenig, a journalist whose investigation of the case was often marred by her own personal musings (in my very specific and personal opinion.)
Per its official synopsis, the series “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.” The series also includes “exclusive access to Adnan Syed, his family and his lawyers,” as 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.”
Berg has been working on this series since 2015, and it will include “new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case.” Part of those new discoveries and revelations might be related to the 2016 decision to grant Syed a new trial and vacate his conviction—a decision that was appealed by the state. In March of this year, the Court of Special Appeals in Maryland granted Syed a retrial—an unexpected twist that will hopefully make this documentary more than just a rehash of what we’ve already heard. The air date is currently TBD.