Fans of the hit true crime podcast “Serial” will have a chance to dig even deeper into the case at the center of its first season with the release of HBO’s “The Case Against Adnan Syed” this spring.
As a teenager, Adnan Syed was sentenced to life in prison in 2000 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. His story captured the public’s attention when the “Serial” podcast re-examined the case in 2014, and now a new HBO documentary, set to premiere on March 10, promises to do the same. The network dropped its first complete trailer for the upcoming four-part documentary series on Wednesday, and the two-minute teaser offers glimpses of interviews with key players in the case, including Syed himself.
“The day she went missing was just a normal day to me,” he can be heard saying in the trailer.
Hae Min Lee, then only 18 years old, was found dead in Baltimore, Maryland, one month after she’d gone missing on January 13, 1999, according to The Baltimore Sun. Prosecutors later claimed that Syed had murdered her out of jealousy, though no physical evidence linked him to the crime, the outlet reports. Still, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison at the age of 17.
HBO’s new documentary, helmed by Academy Award nominee Amy Berg, has been in production since 2015, and will reportedly feature “new discoveries” and “groundbreaking revelations,” according to the HBO website.
Syed, who is currently still incarcerated, has maintained his innocence throughout the years — and change may be on the horizon for him. “Serial” arguably sparked a national true crime obsession, and the increased attention resulted in a renewed interest in Syed's possible innocence. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals court decided last May to uphold an earlier decision that Syed, now in his 30s, deserved another trial because his lawyer failed to question the testimony of a key witness or call forward another witness who could have supported Syed’s alibi — facts that were brought forward in the popular podcast.
While much of the attention has been centered around Syed in recent years, Berg’s take will differ from "Serial" in that it will also focus closely on Lee’s life before her murder.
“For me, it was very important to bring Hae to life in this series. And I started with her journals, because that was the most honest accounting I could find of Hae,” Berg said during HBO's TV Critics' Association press tour, according to E! News.
“She actually started her journal the night — right when she met Adnan, and her last entry was the night before she disappeared,” Berg said. “So, I started there, and then I began to speak to all of her classmates and friends. And we didn’t get directly to the family. They didn’t want to participate in this film. But we did speak to a spokesperson for the family, a close friend of the mother and grandmother. And she brought Hae to life on another level.”
“The Case Against Adnan Syed” will premiere Sunday, March 10 at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.
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