‘Serial’ Goes Big and Political in Season 2 with Bowe Bergdahl Story

Well, you can’t accuse the makers of Serial of taking the easy road for the second season of their massively popular true-crime podcast. Most producers would give us more of the same—find an obscure, dense case (something tells me they may have received a few suggestions), dive into its details and evidence, try to figure it out over 10 or so hours.

Instead, Maxim reports, Serial 2.0 (debuting later this year) will tackle a case that’s already well-known, and loaded with political baggage: the mystery of Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, captured and held by the Taliban for five years after leaving his base in Afghanistan before being returned to Army custody in a prisoner swap, currently awaiting trial for desertion. Host Sarah Koenig and her team will join Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal and former New York Times editor Hugo Lindgren in the investigation; Boal and Lindgren are currently researching and writing a film about the Bergdahl case for Megan Ellison’s Annapurna pictures, with Kathryn Bigelow slated to direct.

But that project can’t go forward until the conclusion of Bergdahl’s trial, so the duo will work with Serial, both in front of and behind the mic, to figure out exactly why Bergdahl left his base all those years ago, and what happened after he did. (And they’ll get a healthy slab of advance publicity for the movie to boot.) Taking on such a controversial and wide-ranging case isn’t exactly what we were expecting from Koenig and Company, but it’ll be interesting to see how the added stakes of a political hot potato like this impact their work.

Correction: This post initially credited an incorrect source. We regret the error.