Colin Farrell, the truest detective

This article first appeared as a daily newsletter. To receive these direct to your inbox every morning sign up to The Industry Newsletter!

Good morning: In today’s edition of The Industry, we look at:

Colin Farrell’s sugar, Kristen Wiig’s spice, Apple’s apples, America Ferrera isn’t perfect, and a swimming pool.

Let’s go!


COLIN FARRELL, THE TRUEST DETECTIVE?

Colin Farrell is always investigating.

In Minority Report (2002), he’s an agent from the US Justice Department sent to look into Pre-crime, a futuristic police force that can predict violent crimes before they happen.

If he’s uptight in Minority Report, his undercover detective in Miami Vice (2006), tasked with infiltrating a drug ring, vaults to the other end of the spectrum: pure coolness.

Above all things, Farrell carries with him an innate ability to play both sides of the detective stereotype.

Farrell’s violent nature in Pride and Glory (2008), portraying an ultra-corrupt cop, weighed on him:

“I don’t feel the violence in the film is gratuitous. Gratuitous is violence without any cost, without seeing the weight of it and how it affects people negatively if it’s there solely for kicks and entertainment purposes. With this in mind, we have a scene that stretches the realms of responsibility vs. irresponsibility in film, it was that egregious. But I felt it was essential to show the level of desperation this character had got at and what he would do.”

Farrell’s most recent turn as a (traumatized) detective came in the very violent, much-hated True Detective Season 2.

He picks back up the gauntlet in Apple’s latest Sugar.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Colin Farrell is private detective John Sugar, but like a lot of people in LA, he’s not who he seems. Farrell investigates the mysterious disappearance of a Hollywood producer’s granddaughter, discovering dark secrets about their family and the industry.

Farrell’s detective seems to fall into the “super cool” category from the recently released trailer and photo. But if the description holds true, he may do something unexpected with the character that elevates it beyond typecasting.

For More:

The shortest teaser to Sugar.

Colin Farrell’s quick trip to Havana in Miami Vice is all sorts of cool. Full scene.

“Gum?” Watch Colin Farrell annoy Tom Cruise in this exposition-laden scene in Minority Report.


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Following Netflix’s mega 2024 release trailer, Apple parries back. Here’s a breakdown of their top new TV series:

Official synopsis:

In 60s Baltimore, an unsolved murder pushes housewife and mother Maddie Schwartz (Portman) to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist and sets her on a collision course with Cleo Sherwood, a hard-working woman juggling motherhood, many jobs, and a passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda.

Official synopsis:

A horrific murder that upends the Chicago Prosecuting Attorney’s office when one of its own is suspected of the crime.

Official synopsis:

Family man, Jason Dessen, is abducted into another world where his life is not his life. His journey to get home takes him across worlds he never could have imagined.

What’s fascinating about this full Apple 2024 trailer is how much pithier it is than Netflix’s from last week.

Netflix has been pumping out originals since 2012 (6 years longer than Apple) and, as such, has produced more cultural phenomena. The entire world crowded around Squid Game during the pandemic – it’ll be hard for an Apple show to capture that same Zeitgeist.

David Leitch inherits Universal’s new Jurassic World movie. Summer 2025, there is a new dinosaur in town. Universal has made a carefully calculated move to relegate the previous Jurassic World trilogy to extinction:

Dominion received a 29% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The hope is that Leitch (dir: Atomic Blonde, Bullet Train, Hobbs & Shaw), who is well-liked by both Spielberg (who is EPing through Amblin) and Universal’s Donna Langley, will bring a fresh take to the material.

David Koepp, writer of the original Jurassic Park (1997), is said to be scripting a new storyline.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Kristen Wiig has a sublime ability to play vapid and severe. In Apple TV+’s glitzy Palm Royale, this is taken to the extreme.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A true underdog story that follows Maxine Simmons (Wiig) as she endeavors to break into Palm Beach high society. As Maxine attempts to cross that impermeable line between the haves and the have-nots, Palm Royale asks the same question that still baffles us today:

“How much of yourself are you willing to sacrifice to get what someone else has?”

Set during the powder keg year of 1969, Palm Royale is a testament to every outsider fighting for their chance to belong truly.

Wiig has a history of playing awkward characters during her tenure at SNL (Target Lady, Gilly). In Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), she honed a caricature of a nerdy research scientist who becomes a megalomaniac villain.

With her touch, it felt grounded.

Although Palm Royale seems quick to play up Wiig in her typically typecast ability not to fit in, there’s a detective angle on her character that may elevate the show.

Here’s the full trailer.

Sashaying onto Apple TV+ on March 2oth.

Tim Blake Nelson has a face you can’t forget. He’s acted in:

He is currently starring in a new film called Asleep in My Palm.

Here’s the official synopsis:

It tells the story of a man and the daughter he’s raising off the grid on the outskirts of an elite liberal arts college in northeastern Ohio.

We don’t often see Nelson in a lead role, but his ability to play both grounded and unhinged is a fruitful combination that makes him perfect for this Luddite.

Watch the trailer here.

Limited release on March 1. VOD on March 19.

The infinitely brilliant Don Cheadle has boarded the buzzy Peacock project Fight Night. It seems like NBC is drip-feeding the media (e.g., all these casting notices for Samuel L. Jackson, Terrence Howard, and Kevin Hart) to stoke up the energy… much like they would a real fight.

Check out a re-cap of the project here. Cheadle is said to play Atlanta’s first black detective.

Cheadle was outstanding as a detective with a tough decision to make in Crash (2004, Clip)


FESTIVALS

Writing Your Action Script. Join acclaimed writer/producer Miles Chapman:

  • Escape Plan (2013)
    • Writer
    • Starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • $137M WW gross
    • Trailer

Chapman leads a virtual session on crafting action screenplays that captivate studios and audiences. Chapman will explore the essentials of creating gripping narratives, authentic scenarios, and dynamic characters. This workshop will cover strategies for navigating the industry’s high standards for action scripts, offering invaluable advice on selling or optioning your work. The session includes a Q&A and networking opportunities.

The 1hr session begins on Thursday, Feb 8th at 11 am EST.

Register here.

Drowned Cars. Glowsticks. Electric love. The trailer to Arcadia, premiering at Berlinale in the Encounters section, is all sorts of mysterious.

Here’s the fairly light official synopsis:

Radiant psychologist Katerina has to confront her worst suspicions as she accompanies Yannis, an early once-respected doctor, to identify the victim of a tragic car accident at an off-season seaside resort.

These first-look images (reflection, breakdown) pack a bigger punch.

Sales Rep Beta Cinema (The Lives of Others, Skin Deep) will try to sell the film at the European Film Market.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Sébastien Vaniček is the new horror director to watch. He will be directing the new Evil Dead. The series has been reincarnated many times from the campy horror The Evil Dead (1981, trailer) to the just plain terrifying Evil Dead Rise (2023, trailer).

Vaniček directed the horrifying creepy-crawly Vermines about killer reproducing spiders (trailer for those that like horror). It played at the Critics’ Week at the Venice Film Festival and won Best Picture and Best Director at Fantastic Fest.

Watching the trailer, it’s clear how his grimy aesthetic is perfectly dialed in for Evil Dead.

From Cannes short film to casting Callum Turner (Masters of the Air, Tramps). Dara Van Dusen’s feature debut will be A Prayer For The Dying.

Here’s the official synopsis for the book on which the film is based:

Set in Friendship, Wisconsin, just after the Civil War, A Prayer for the Dying tells of a horrible epidemic that is suddenly and gruesomely killing the town’s residents and setting off a terrifying paranoia. Jacob Hansen (Turner), Friendship’s sheriff, undertaker, and pastor, is soon overwhelmed by the fear and anguish around him, and his sanity begins to fray.

Bjørkly Graver (producer: The Worst Person in the World) stated:

“Since I first read the script, I was pulled in by this riveting and thought-provoking story, and Dara’s ambitious director’s vision makes it all the more powerful. Having Callum Turner on board, as our main character Jacob, is all we could have hoped for and I can’t wait to bring this film out to audiences.”

The film will be shot in the early summer.

Here’s the atmospheric, slightly creepy trailer for Van Dusen’s 2009 Cannes Cinéfondation short film.

America Ferrera will direct I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Following her Oscar nomination for Barbie, Ferrera will take on her first feature project behind the camera.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Follows Julia Reyes, who often clashes with her traditional parents, who wish she were more like her sister, a platonic ideal of a Mexican daughter. When her sister is killed, it is up to her to hold her family together.

There’s a poignancy to the material that feels well-suited from Ferrera’s recent turn from network star (ABC’s Ugly Betty, NBC’s Superstore) to cultural hero with her end-of-Barbie monologue.

Ferrera previously directed four episodes of the supremely watchable Superstore, in which she plays the hilarious, snarky, frantic, but always grounded Superstore employee Amy (season trailer).

The film is currently in development at Amazon MGM Studios. Macro and Anonymous Content are producing.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

There’s a terrible sense of foreboding in The Rotterdam Official Selection Natatorium. Maybe it has something to do with the unsettling grandparents or the mysteriously bedridden nephew. Or the pool in the basement…

Here’s the official synopsis:

Visiting estranged grandparents, eighteen-year-old Lilja auditions in town. Feeling at home in their mansion, she becomes entangled with the family’s dark past and learns life-threatening secrets.

Watch the trailer here.

No word yet on US or UK release date.


READER SPOTLIGHT

Gerardo Coello Escalante is a Mexican filmmaker working in CDMX and NYC whose most recent short Viaje de Negocios was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

What Coello Escalante accomplishes so strikingly is bringing the viewer squarely back to their schoolyard days with such rich authenticity that a new pair of shoes can both be a source of triumph and torment.

He recently launched the production company Thumper Films along with creative partner Amandine Thomas, who served as creative producer and editor of Viaje de Negocios. The company will be primarily focused on their narrative work. They are currently in post-production on their follow-up short film, SUSANA.

The website for Thumper Films is: https://thumperfilms.com/

The link to the short film trailer is: https://vimeo.com/886927639

If you’d like to be featured in our “readers spotlight,” click here for more information.


ON THIS DAY

1972. 29th Golden Globes: The French Connection, Gene Hackman, & Jane Fonda win.


See you Wednesday.


Written by: Gabriel Miller. Research by Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

Share the Post:

Other Editions

Become a Film Industry Insider!

Sign up for The Industry!

It’s a curated newsletter read by almost 100,000 film professionals.

We synthesize the latest film & TV news and send it to your inbox every morning. 

It takes less than 5 minutes to read.

Plus it’s FREE forever.