Colin Farrell's Sugar Producer Admits 1 Major Hurdle for Mystery Shows (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Sugar, Apple TV+, Colin Farrell

The producers behind the upcoming Apple TV+ series Sugar discussed what makes Colin Farrell’s new project unique and how they got past one major hurdle for mystery shows in general.

Sugar follows the titular detective, John Sugar, an extremely talented private investigator who gets involved in a particularly tricky case in Los Angeles. While it may sound like a run-of-the-mill story, there is plenty more than meets the eye.

What Makes Colin Farrell’s Sugar Show Unique?

Colin Farrell in Sugar
Apple TV+

While speaking in an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Sugar producers Simon Kinberg and Audrey Chon talked about what makes their new Apple TV+ series stick out from everything else out there.

One particular hurdle for the mystery/crime genre, Kinberg explained, is that no matter the case, "it is not going to be so radically different from the 5 billion murder cases or mystery cases you have seen on television."

He went on to note that there are "two opportunities" he feels creatives "have to innovate are tone and character," which the producer feels they accomplished with Colin Farrell’s John Sugar:

"I think whenever you are working in a genre, the two opportunities you have to innovate are tone and character. Because ultimately, no matter what the case is, it is not going to be so radically different from the 5 billion murder cases or mystery cases you have seen on television over the years. And in the case of 'Sugar,' I think we have a truly original character in John Sugar, a detective who himself is as mysterious and as much the mystery of the show as the case is, which I do not really think I've seen before."

The show is "this combination of old school and very modern," Kinberg described, with a leading character who is both "hard-boiled" and "emotionally soft:"

"And then also a guy who combines this classic leading man square jaw 1940s or '50s vibe with something really modern, and his sensitivity and his kindness, his chivalrousness. And, just softness, and that combination of being hard-boiled but also emotionally soft, is something I've just never seen. And that is the vibe of the show, too. It is this combination of old school and very modern."

Throughout Sugar, many moments are juxtaposed with images and clips of classic films, all of which play perfectly into the noir, detective feel of the series.

Talking about why they chose to include those flourishes, Chon noted how the show’s writer, Mark Protosevich, "is a cinephile" who talked about how "Sugar made sense of the world through movies:"

"Well, when we had the scripts, they were a throwback to film noir. And [writer] Mark [Protosevich] is a cinephile who talked a lot about classic films and how 'Sugar' made sense of the world through movies. And so we talked about those influences. And by the time [post production] came around, I think Fernando Meirelles, our director, and his editor, Fernando Stutz, actually took that in a literal direction and added a different dimension to the show by infusing the show with film clips."

Chon shared that "there was a pretty in-depth clearance process" to get all the clips they needed but including these bits in the story "[added] a whole other dimension to Sugar’s perspective:"

"We picked specific moments where we felt like it would be additive. And then we had our team kind of, you know, do a deep dive of various clips that would service those scenes. And then there was a pretty in-depth clearance process to get them as well. But I do think that it adds a whole other dimension to Sugar's perspective on the case and the world."

Sugar debuts on Apple TV+ on April 5.

- In This Article: Sugar
Release Date
April 05, 2024
Amy Ryan
Kirby Howell-Baptiste
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.