Colin Farrell says his upcoming Batman spin-off show The Penguin is "dark" and relentless

The Penguin
(Image credit: HBO)

Colin Farrell says his upcoming neo-noir detective series Sugar and his Batman spin-off show The Penguin are polar opposites – with the later being a complete and total trip to the dark side.

"[John Sugar and The Penguin] couldn't be any further from each other really. You know, don't want to judge anyone here, but I'll just say that Sugar is a man of integrity and decency and honesty and kindness and, and hope. I don't know what Oswald is, but he is not those things," Farrell tells GamesRadar+ with a laugh. 

The Penguin sees Farrell reprise his villain role from Matt Reeves' The Batman as he attempts to seize control of Gotham. Created by Lauren LeFranc, The Penguin also stars Cristin Millioti as Sofia Falcone, Clancy Brown as Salvatore Maroni, Michael Zegen as Alberto Falcone, and Michael Kelly as Johnny Vitti.

"Yeah, very different tonally. Very different shows as well. I mean, Sugar, as a show, does explore some of the darker aspects of the human experience, but it doesn't live in them all the time. [The Penguin] is so violent, it's so dark, it's relentless."


(Image credit: Apple)

Sugar sees Farrell as John Sugar, a private investigator in Los Angeles tasked with finding the missing granddaughter of a big Hollywood producer. It's a stylish trip through the city's seedy underbelly, and sees John attempt to navigate a dangerous situation with a heart of gold. Executive producer Simon Kinberg says he can't wait for viewers to see Farrell in some of the show's most quiet scenes – which he says "showcase just how spectacular Colin is as an actor."

"He's just a fascinating actor, Colin. Obviously he's great in scenes with other actors. He's amazing with Amy Ryan, he's amazing with Kirby. But I find him sometimes just so watchable when he's by himself, and I'm just seeing the expression and the emotion on his face and there's so much going on, Kinberg tells GamesRadar+.

"And that's not always true with actors. And it's certainly not always true with like actors that are as charismatic and leading man as Colin. Sometimes they rely on their charisma or their looks. Colin has this really human element to him." 

The mystery-drama also stars Kirby, Amy Ryan, Dennis Boutsikaris, Nate Corddry, Sydney Chandler, Anna Gunn, James Cromwell, and Miguel Sandoval.

Sugar hits Apple TV Plus on April 5, 2024. The Penguin is set to drop on Max later this year. For more, check out our list of the best new TV shows coming your way in 2024 and beyond.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.