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"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.[2] The film was originally slated for release in theaters on August 9, 2019 and then on May 29, 2020[3] before the decision was made to move the film to premiere on the streaming platform in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]

The film is rated PG for fantasy action/peril and some rude humor.[4]


"Your family has taken something of great value from us. Return it to me or I will destroy everything you love."
Opal Koboi[src]
Disney's Artemis Fowl, based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient, underground civilization—the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan—so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.[5]


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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]



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.[11] 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.[12] 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. [13] 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.[14] 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."[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19]

A fuller trailer for the film was released on March 2, 2020. The film's tagline is "Remember the name." The trailer features the song "Start It Up" by the group Campfire.


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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23]


Disney is releasing merchandise in advance of the film's release. These include FunkoPop toys of Artemis Fowl, Holly Short and Mulch Diggums[24], as well as several tie-in books:


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.[16][26] 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.[27] 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.[6]



External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Disney Movies - Artemis Fowl
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Foutch, Haleigh (April 16, 2020). ‘Artemis Fowl’ Sets June Release Date on Disney+ with New Teaser. Collider. Retrieved on April 17, 2020.
  3. Artemis Fowl film release delayed. RTE (May 9, 2019). Retrieved on April 3, 2020.
  4. Parlevliet, Mirko (February 19, 2020). MPA Ratings for Artemis Fowl, No Time to Die and Mulan. Vital Thrills. Retrieved on February 21, 2020.
  5. Imagent - Disney Artemis Fowl press. Disney/Imagenet. Retrieved on February 18, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Matt Patches and Austen Goslin Matt Patches and Austen Goslin (March 2, 2020). Artemis Fowl author supports — and is a little envious of — the changes in Disney’s movie. Polygon. Retrieved on March 1, 2020.
  7. Casting Call: Irish Male Actor needed to play ‘Artemis Fowl’ (May 16, 2017). Retrieved on March 7, 2020.
  8. New Casting Call for title role in the Artemis Fowl Movie (September 11, 2017). Retrieved on March 7, 2020.
  9. Beloved book series 'Artemis Fowl' comes to life on Disney+ l GMA. Good Morning America via YouTube (May 25, 2020). Retrieved on June 1, 2020.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Dela Paz, Maggie (March 16, 2020). The Legend Comes to Life in Artemis Fowl Featurette. Coming Soon. Retrieved on March 16, 2020.
  11. Truffaut-Wong, Olivia (November 27, 2018). The ‘Artemis Fowl’ Movie Changes Some Characters, But Director Kenneth Branagh Says It’s Still The Story You Love. Bustle.
  12. Artemis Fowl film release delayed. RTE (May 9, 2019). Retrieved on February 4, 2020.
  13. Variety article, April 3 2020
  14. Mangan, Ian (April 7, 2020). Coronavirus Ireland: Irish author Eoin Colfer says Artemis Fowl film won't be released in cinemas due to lockdown. Irish Mirror. Retrieved on April 8, 2020.
  15. Dorsch, Rita (April 7, 2020). Artemis Fowl's Disney+ Release Shows Disney Knew It Was a Box-Office Loser. CBR. Retrieved on April 9, 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ouellette, Jennifer (March 2, 2020). Artemis Fowl trailer has some book fans up in arms over boy-genius portrayal. Ars Technica. Retrieved on March 6, 2020.
  17. Hipes, Patrick (October 11, 2017). Disney’s ‘Artemis Fowl’ Cuts Harvey Weinstein As Producer. Deadline. Retrieved on March 7, 2020.
  18. McNary, Dave (October 11, 2017). Variety. Retrieved on May 14, 2020.
  19. Fowl, Fairies & Family by Eoin Colfer. Artemis Fowl Confidential (February 28, 2020). Retrieved on February 29, 2020.
  20. Thompson, Gary (January 30, 2020). ‘Artemis Fowl’ author Eoin Colfer, coming to Free Library, talks about the movie, and his new ‘dragon noir.’. Retrieved on February 15, 2020.
  21. Shaw-Williams, Hannah (July 30, 2013). 'Artemis Fowl' Books Being Adapted for Screen by 'Harry Potter' Screenwriter. Screenrant. Retrieved on March 8, 2020.
  22. Brew, Simon (March 3, 2020). Artemis Fowl: new trailer lands for Kenneth Branagh-directed movie. Film Stories. Retrieved on March 8, 2020.
  23. HCM City featured in Disney’s new blockbuster. Vietnam+ (March 5, 2020). Retrieved on March 8, 2020.
  24. Matt (February 15, 2020). Artemis Fowl FUNKO POP! Revealed!. Artemis Fowl Confidential. Retrieved on March 7, 2020.
  25. Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specifiedMatt (January 20, 2020). . Artemis Fowl Confidential. Retrieved on March 7, 2020.
  26. Baron, Reuben (March 3, 2020). Disney May Have Missed the Point of Artemis Fowl. CBR. Retrieved on March 6, 2020.
  27. Yaniz, Robert (March 7, 2020). ‘Artemis Fowl’ Is Shaping Up to Be This Year’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’. Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Retrieved on March 7, 2020.
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