Disney has released the first trailer for its Artemis Fowl movie adaptation. The film is (of course) based on the fantasy adventure book series of the same name, which was created by Eoin Colfer in 2001 and currently encompasses eight novels in total (published over the span of eleven years). A big screen version of the Artemis Fowl franchise have been in development pretty much ever since the original book was published; though, it wasn't until Disney and The Weinstein Company got involved in 2013 - before Disney parted ways with TWC in the wake of Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault scandal last year - that things really started to pick up on the project.
Written for the screen by playwright Conor McPherson, Artemis Fowl is based on the first novel in Colfer's series and tells the story of Mr. Artemis Fowl (newcomer Ferdia Shaw) - a 12-year old genius and the descendant of a long line of "criminal masterminds", as the film's synopsis describes them. The movie follows Artemis as he matches wits with a hidden race of fairies that may or may not be connected to his father's disappearance; in turn, bringing him face to face with Holly Short (Lara McDonnell), an elf and the first female captain of LEPrecon - the recon division of LEP (Lower Elements Police) - and Commander Root (Judi Dench), the hard-lined commander of LEPrecon.
The Artemis Fowl cast also includes Nonso Anozie (Cinderella) as Artemis' butler/bodyguard Domovoi Butler and Josh Gad (Murder on the Orient Express) as the kleptomaniac dwarf Mulch Diggums, as well as Hong Chau (Downsizing) in an as-yet undisclosed role. For more on what to expect from the adaptation, check out the first Artemis Fowl trailer in the space below, followed by the poster.
Artemis Fowl was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who previously collaborated with the Mouse House on its live-action Cinderella in 2015, and helmed the first Thor movie for the Disney-owned Marvel Studios back in 2011. The project features a number of Branagh's longtime collaborators on both sides of the camera, including his frequent cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos and trusted composer Patrick Doyle. While the trailer offers but a taste of what's to come from the film proper, the Artemis Fowl footage very much has the feel and look of Branagh's previous studio productions (which have always been big on majestic photography and splendid production design).
On the other hand: most of Disney's recent live-action tentpoles haven't been hurting for eye candy either, and yet the Mouse House has struggled to churn out non-animated hits that aren't sequels or remakes of their classic animated movies of late. The studio has released two such commercial misfires this year alone (A Wrinkle in Time and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms), but is clearly hoping third time proves to be the charm with Artemis Fowl. Branagh has a pretty sturdy track record when it comes to big-budget ventures released over the past decade - both financially and, for the most part, critically - and Disney would no doubt like this one to become the start of a successful franchise. We'll have to wait and see how things go from here, though.
Source: Walt Disney Studios
- Artemis Fowl (2020) release date: May 29, 2020