- "Alright. Save my father, save the world."
- ―Artemis Fowl Jr.[src]
Artemis Fowl is an upcoming American science fantasy adventure film based on Eoin Colfer's book series of the same name. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Conor McPherson & Hamish McColl, the film stars Judi Dench, Hong Chau, Josh Gad, Nonso Anozie and newcomers Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell. It will be released by Walt Disney Pictures on their streaming service Disney+ on June 12, 2020. The film was originally slated for release in theaters on August 9, 2019 and then on May 29, 2020 before the decision was made to move the film to premiere on the streaming platform in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The film is rated PG for fantasy action/peril and some rude humor.
- "Your family has taken something of great value from us. Return it to me or I will destroy everything you love."
- ―Opal Koboi[src]
- Ferdia Shaw as Artemis Fowl Jr.
- Colin Farrell as Artemis Fowl Sr.
- Lara McDonnell as Holly Short
- Nonso Anozie as Butler
- Judi Dench as Commander Root
- Hong Chau as Opal Koboi
- Josh Gad as Mulch Diggums
- Miranda Raison as Angeline Fowl
- Tamara Smart as Juliet Butler
- Nikesh Patel as Foaly
- Chi-Lin Nim as Trouble Kelp
- Jean-Paul Ly as Nguyen Xuan
- Adam Basil as Troll
- Hannah Flynn as LEP officer
- Matt Townsend as LEP officer
- Joshua McGuire as Briar Cudgeon
- Bernardo Santos as Groomsman
- Michael Abubakar as Burr
- Jake Davies
- Rachel Denning
- Matt Jessup as Budd
- Simone Kirby as Mrs. Byrne
- Sally Messham as Sky Willow
- Adrian Scarborough as Goblin chief
- Laurence Kinlan as Birchwood Short
- Conor MacNeill as Goblin lieutenant
- Eoin Colfer (cameo)
The initial casting call for the film for the Artemis Fowl II character asked for auditions for any Irish male, age 9-12 of any ethnicity. A second casting call cast the net wider, asking for any male age 9-13, under 5' 3" and capable of doing an Irish accent. Though ultimately the physical appearance of the Artemis character in the film is a close match to that described in the novels, several major changes have been made in regards to certain characters.
Before the start of the film's production, author Eoin Colfer met with director Kenneth Branagh regarding casting. They agreed that Artemis Fowl must be cast an Irish boy, but beyond that, anything else was up for grabs. He feels that those cast for the film were the best for the job.
- Kenneth Branagh - director and producer
- Judy Hofflund - producer
- Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl - screenwriters
- Patrick Doyle - composer
- Haris Zambarloukos - director of photography
- Jim Clay - production designer
- Carol Hemming - hair and makeup designer
The film is known to have certain differences from the novel in regards to the cast of characters. One of the most notable is that Commander Root is a female portrayed by Judi Dench, whereas in the original novel Holly Short was the first female member of the LEP. Additionally, the character of Domovoi Butler is described as Eurasian in the books, but is portrayed by an African American actor for the film. Holly Short is a child in the film, as opposed to an adult. Despite these changes, director Kenneth Branagh has stated that the film's story is that which the readers of the series know and love. The film's full trailer confirms that Opal Koboi is a part of the film, despite not appearing in the book series until the second book, Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident. It also reveals in the film, Artemis's father is part of a secret group dedicated to protecting the fairy world, with Holly Short and Mulch Diggums among his allies.
After years of production delays, the film was announced for a release date of August 9, 2019, before later being delayed until May 29, 2020. In early April of 2020 it was announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the film would be releasing directly on Disney's streaming service, Disney+, and forgoing a traditional theater release.  In an interview regarding the move to Disney+, Colfer stated that Netflix and Disney+ numbers are mysterious to him and that the measure of the film's success will be if Disney asks to do a sequel. Rita Dorsch of the website Comic Book Resource (CBR) described the decision as a sign of Disney's considering the film a likely "box-office loser."
The film was originally a production of 20th Century Fox, prior to the studio's acquisition by the Walt Disney Company. The turmoil of the acquisition resulted in the reshuffling of release dates for a number of films, however, unlike certain other films caught up in the acquisition, Artemis Fowl did not undergo any reshoots. The film was at also one point a production of Miramax in association with Harvey Weinstein. However, Disney cut ties with Weinstein in 2017 following bombshell revelations alleging decades of sexual harassment by the producer. Weinstein originally picked up the rights to the franchise back in the early 2000s while running Miramax and the rights reverted to Disney when he and his brother left the company to form Weinstein Co. in 2005.
In advance of the film, Disney is recording a live show by Eoin Colfer, Fowl, Fairies & Family, to air on its streaming service Disney+, to celebrate the film and introduce the franchise to a global audience.
Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer has stated the film's production has been largely stress-free for him, mainly because his not really involved in it. While he could have tried to be more involved, he knows the screenwriter Conor McPherson and feels that the film is in good hands. As of January 30, 2020, he had not seen the full film, but had seen a good bit of it and described as looking fantastic.
The film's screenplay was initially announced as being by Michael Goldenberg, screenwriter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when the project was still a collaborative involvement of the Walt Disney Company and Harvey Weinstein in 2013. Some articles also credit Adam Kline as being with the project, though he does not appear on the entry for the film on Disney's official website.
Portions of the film were filmed in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and the film features a Vietnamese-American actress, Hong Chau, as the villain Opal Koboi.
Disney is releasing merchandise in advance of the film's release. These include FunkoPop toys of Artemis Fowl, Holly Short and Mulch Diggums, as well as several tie-in books:
- Artemis Fowl: Guide to the World of Fairies - Illustrated novel written by Andrew Donkin with illustrations by Gonzalo Kenny. Described as a compendium of Artemis Fowl's knowledge.
- The Art and Making of Artemis Fowl - An extensive behind-the-scenes guide to the film, written by Brian Sibley.
- Artemis Fowl: How to Be a LEPrecon - Written by Matthew K. Manning and subtitled Your Guide to the Gear, Gadgets, and Goings-on of the World's Most Elite Fairy Force.
- Artemis Fowl Movie Tie-in Edition - A copy of the original novel, but with photos from the film included.
- Artemis Fowl: A Fowl Adventure - From the Disney Book Group, it covers a portion of events of the film and includes a poster.
- Artemis Fowl: Genius at Work: Codes, Activities, Puzzles, and More - 32 page sticker activity book featuring over 300 stickers and photos from the film.
Although some have adopted a wait-and-see approach, the changes to the film's story indicated the released trailers and publicity material have resulted in anger and skepticism from a certain segment of fans, who have expressed disappointment that the film seems to change the fundamental premise of the story and the nature of the Artemis Fowl character as an evil criminal boy genius. Other changes have been lamented as well, such as the Artemis Fowl and Holly Short characters apparently having a friendly relationship from the beginning, and changes made by casting, such as Commander Root being female, altering the dynamic of Holly Short being the first female LEP officer. The site Showbiz Cheat Sheet speculated in an article that the film would be the year's A Wrinkle In Time, stating the first of the film's problems was that most of the people reading the article were unaware of the film's impending release before reading it. They stated that while Disney clearly hoped to start a new franchise with the film, they had already managed to alienate the property's core fanbase. Despite the controversy, Artemis Fowl series Eoin Colfer has spoken in favor of the changes seen in the film, stating that he is, in fact, in some ways envious of the movie. He stated that the film adds a "ticking clock element to the siege which makes it far more exciting" and that he is "one hundred percent behind" the other changes seen in the film.
- Disney official website
- Artemis Fowl Confidential movie page
- Artemis Fowl on Disney Wiki
- Artemis Fowl on Wikipedia
- Artemis Fowl on IMDb