The first teaser trailer for the long-awaited adaptation of Artemis Fowl is here, and the music that scores it is a haunting track from indie-rock band Radiohead. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and based on the books by Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl is about a child prodigy (played by Irish newcomer Ferdia Shaw) Always by his side in these endeavors is Artemis' faithful bodyguard, Butler (Nonso Anozie).
Artemis' search for his missing father leads him to stumble upon a secret underground world of fairies, elves, and other magical creatures, and in particular bring him to blows with Captain Holly Short (Lara McDonnell), an officer in LEPrecon, the reconnaissance division of the fairy civilization's law enforcement. LEPrecon is led by Commander Root, played by Judi Dench.
Branagh's take on Artemis Fowl looks very promising, showing just enough to get fans excited and leave non-fans intrigued, and the music does a lot to help set the mood. The song in the teaser trailer is Radiohead's "Decks Dark," from the band's 2016 album A Moon Shaped Pool. You can watch Radiohead play "Decks Dark" in concert below:
As with a lot of Radiohead songs, the meaning of "Decks Dark" is somewhat ambiguous, but the lyrics offer some insight into why it was chosen for this particular trailer. The song conjures up visions of an alien abduction ("Into your life, there comes a darkness/And a spacecraft blocking out the sky") and themes of darkness and hiding run throughout, which is evocative of how the fairy People have been forced to hide underground in order to survive the "rapacious" greed of humanity.
Between the lyrics and Thom Yorke's beautifully haunting vocals, "Decks Dark" fits well with the tone of the trailer, which focuses on the strangeness and beauty of the fairy world, and the way that it blends science fiction with fantasy. In the books, the fairy People have evolved just as much as humanity has over the years, and they use highly advanced technology beyond anything that humans possess. They also have their own flying ships, which can be seen in the trailer, so the mention of "spacecraft" is particularly on-point.
If you're not a big Radiohead fan, but "Decks Dark" still sounds familiar, you may recognize it from the first episode of Netflix drama Ozark. Yorke also recently composed the score for Luca Guadagnino's horror remake Suspiria.
- Artemis Fowl (2020) release date: May 29, 2020