Kary Antholis, an Oscar-winning documentarian and the former president of miniseries at HBO, has shared some inarguably crucial insight regarding the core question at the heart of the 2016 hit The Night Of.
During an appearance on iHeartRadio's John Roa Show, Antholis—who launched Crime Story Media in 2019—was asked directly about the character who was actually responsible for the murder of Andrea Cornish (played by Sofia Black-D'Elia) on Steven Zaillian and Richard Price's eight-part series.
Warning: If for some reason you haven't yet made it through the 2016 miniseries The Night Of, what follows will indeed qualify as a spoiler in every sense of the word.
"I mean, I think it's pretty clear that the financial advisor [Ray Halle, played by Paulo Costanzo] killed her but…Steve, throughout that process, wanted to keep people on edge [and] wanted people to have doubts," Antholis said. "But he also wanted to make it not about that. The fact that Naz [played by Riz Ahmed] was subjected to that over the course of six or eight months—you know, being in Rikers Island all that time without a determination of his guilt or innocence—particularly in the wake of what happened to Kalief Browder…it was very resonant for people and it was resonant for Steve. That's why he took it on."
Listen to the full discussion below via iHeartRadio; the moment in question starts around the 8:50 mark:
As you'll recall, developments in the series finale—titled "The Call of the Wild"—included some seriously damning revelations about Ray. Original suspect Naz, meanwhile, is ultimately able to return to his life after a deadlocked jury.
The series marked another critical win for HBO, which at the time was fresh off a batch of blowback fans had levied at it following the drop-off in quality of the second season of True Detective. In fact, some of the discussion in advance of The Night Of's arrival revolved around arguably lazy proclamations that it could be "the next True Detective." While such a comparison is certainly a compliment given the brilliance of TD's inaugural season, The Night Of benefited much more from carving out its own identity on the network.