Sugar star Colin Farrell talks his first reaction to the script – and what made him sign on to the role.

"My first reaction was that it was just a little bit different. I hadn't had the opportunity to read anything like it ever. The character was felt quite unique in that it was obviously exploring the noir genre as a whole. The piece, the narrative, the style of it, the fact that it was set in Los Angeles, the world that explores the idea that the central character was a private detective," Farrell tells GamesRadar+.

"But there was this kind of innocence to John Sugar as much as he at times gets embroiled in violence, he has a disdain for violence and as much as he's been exposed to some of the darker aspects of the human experience through trafficking and kidnapping, he has this kind of unbridled sense of hope and belief in the goodness of human beings, which I thought was really quite sweet and engaging."

Sugar, a Los Angeles-based Private Investigator, is tasked with solving the disappearance of a woman named Olivia Siegel, the beloved granddaughter of Hollywood producer Johnathan Siegel. The case takes him on a deep dark path – in which hidden truths are uncovered.

Farrell continues: "When I read it, you know, and I knew that Los Angeles was gonna be such an essential character and I did wanna work from home as well. I thought it'll be nice not to have to leave LA [or] leave my kids and be able to be home here shooting this for six months. So it was all those things combined. And then when I heard Fernando Meirelles was gonna be directing it, I just thought, oh, that's a major scoop."

The eight-episode limited series was conceived by the I Am Legend screenwriter Mark Protosevich and directed by Fernando Meirelles, Protosevich, Donald Joh (Snowpiercer), David Rosen, and Breaking Bad writer Sam Catlin. The mystery-drama also stars Kirby, Amy Ryan, Dennis Boutsikaris, Nate Corddry, Sydney Chandler, Anna Gunn, James Cromwell, and Miguel Sandoval.


Executive producer Audrey Chon also praised Meirelles as a director, citing his shooting style as another factor that makes the series unique.

"Fernando is our director, [and they] established the shooting style of the show – he and his longtime collaborator, Cesar [Charlone], his DP. They have almost like a docu-series way of shooting where it's very intimate and they use natural light and it's kind of this run and gun style," Chon tells GamesRadar+.

"And in terms of infusing the show with these film clips, we found that in post. And it was something that we talked about a lot in terms of cinema and its influence on the story, but we took that another step and made it kind of literal and handpicked some interesting clips that would speak to specific moments and scenes in a different way just to add a different level to the [audience] experience."

Black-and-white clips from Old Hollywood classics are intercut throughout the series and beautifully (and rather uniquely) interwoven into tense moments. It's also something Sugar star Kirby is excited for audiences to see.

"I felt like that was such an incredibly clever way of explaining a genre that most people, but not everyone, are familiar with," Kirby tells GR+. "It's a very classic, quintessential all-American genre and this is on a platform that is global and not everyone is familiar with that style, doesn't have that encyclopedic knowledge of that style of film. And so watching that I felt really, really excited. I think it is also the testament to the power of what editors can do and what a collaborative team can do."

Sugar hits Apple TV Plus on April 5, 2024. For more, check out our chat with Colin Farrell about the difference between Sugar and Batman spin-off The Penguin.