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Apple TV’s Sugar Explained by X-Men Producer Simon Kinberg and Audrey Chon

Apple TV's Sugar Explained by X-Men Producer Simon Kinberg and Audrey Chon

Sugar immediately introduced itself as one of the coolest, most stylish, and downright enigmatic series of the year when the first episodes premiered on Apple TV+ on April 5. The Colin Farrell and Amy Ryan series follows a compassionate and reserved private detective returning to Los Angeles from a case in Japan. He specializes in finding missing people, and is contacted by a rich movie producer whose granddaughter has been missing for two weeks. Farrell reports to his secretive handler, played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and is thrust into a world of crime, L.A. style.

Just when you think Sugar is a traditional detective series, the show surprises you with aesthetic flourishes and seemingly unexplainable mysteries. That’s fitting when you consider the show is created and written by Mark Protosevich, who created the crime fantasy masterpiece The Cell with Jennifer Lopez and wrote I Am Legend with Will Smith. Sugar is a series you stick with, desperate to follow the trail and discover not just what John Sugar himself is searching for, but also what he’s hiding.

MovieWeb spoke with two producers of the series, Simon Kinberg and Audrey Chon. They’re both quickly becoming Hollywood powerhouses, as indicated by just a glimpse at what they currently have in production (Deadpool & Wolverine, The Running Man, Logan’s Run). The two discussed their interest in the show and its peculiar style; you can watch our interview above or read on for more.

Simon Kinberg on How Sugar Fits Into His Blockbuster Filmography

Sugar 2024 TV Show poster with Colin Farrell

Sugar (2024)


Release Date
April 5, 2024

Colin Farrell , Kirby Howell-Baptiste , Amy Ryan , Nate Corddry , Dennis Boutsikaris , James Cromwell , Anna Gunn , Alex Hernandez , Eric Lange , Sydney Chandler , Jason Butler Harner


Apple Studios, Genre Films

Mark Protosevich

Apple TV+

Simon Kinberg has become one of the most successful and culturally impactful producers of the past 15 years. From the Deadpool and X-Men movies Star Wars: Rebels, Cinderella (2015), and Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot films, Kinberg has produced major franchises, not to mention acclaimed films like The Martian and shows like Legion. Many of them are fantastical, be they superhero or sci-fi, and epic as well. So, at first glance, a show like Sugar might not seem like Kinberg’s bag. Or is it not that different after all?

“It’s different in some ways,” admitted Kinberg. “But you know, I’ve always been into detective stories. I worked on the Sherlock Holmes movies and I worked on the Poirot films, so I have trafficked in this world a little bit, even though those are period. But yeah, I would say my hope is that, with the exception of living in the X-Men world for a very long time, a lot of my films and work feel different, right? Like, The Martian is very different than Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and certainly very different from Cinderella.”

Kinberg continued:

“And so I really just get fired up about a good script or a good story. And we had a great script that was given to us by Mark Protosevich, the creator of the show, and
it felt like all the things I love about film noir stories and detective stories, but with such a modern, crazy, bold top-spin to it
. That’s why I got excited and into it, and felt like I could bring the things I like to something I haven’t done.”

Related: Sugar Review: Colin Farrell Sizzles in Inventive Neo-Noir Drama

Sugar Makes Sense of the World Through Cinema

Audrey Chon has worked with Kinberg on several projects (Lift, Jordan Peele’s iteration of The Twilight Zone, Apple TV’s intricate sci-fi series, Invasion) after producing for Clint Eastwood (Changeling) and Spike Lee (Oldboy). Like Kinberg, she recognized the magic of Protosevich’s scripts, which must have felt very resonant for a producer. Sugar is very much about Los Angeles and cinema, actually incorporating clips from a variety of old noir pictures in its deconstruction of our romanticized ideal of the private detective.


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“Mark is a cinephile himself, and infused the series with a love of films,” explained Chon, “but how Hollywood is an industry town, too. So it’s kind of embedded in our storytelling. And you know, Sugar as a character makes sense of the world around him through cinema, through those stories, through those lessons. So I think taking those things from a creative standpoint, and then also literally using film clips and elements of old noir films like a jazz-infused score and voiceover narration, you know, the show truly is a love letter to Hollywood in so many ways, both new and old.”

Talking About Sugar Without Spoiling the Mystery

At the heart of Sugar are several mysteries, where even posing the question might spoil the fun of the answer. Suffice it to say, the real mystery is the human heart and our social order. So how have Kinberg and Chon been discussing such a twisty show without giving anything away, and how should viewers?

I mean, it’s been really fun talking about the show,” said Kinberg. “You work on something for a long time, and the ones you really love you’re excited about sharing with people. And so that’s been really fun to get out there and to talk to people like you who have seen the show.” He continued:

I think in terms of spoilers, what we tell people is one of the things I love about the show, is that the mystery of who Sugar is, is as compelling as the case he’s on and so unraveling that mystery. I feel like it’s part of the fun and part of the activity for the audience. That isn’t usually the case.



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“If you’re watching Sherlock Holmes or Poirot or, God knows, the million detective shows that have been on network television forever, you’re usually not unraveling the mystery of who the detective is. You may learn some things about their personal life, but you’re not really looking for clues as you go into answering who that person is,” concluded Kinberg. “So that is part, to me, of the appeal of the show. Regardless of what the answer is, it’s just the actual ‘following the mystery of who is this man’ that’s different, and I think something that is easy to talk about, even if you don’t reveal the answer.”

If you want the answers, or if you just want to enjoy the ride, Sugar is streaming on Apple TV with new episodes on Friday until May 17, 2024. Sugar is a production of Protokino, Kinberg Genre, Chapel Place Productions, and Apple Studios, and you can watch it through the link below:

Watch Sugar

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