If Harry Potter proved anything to the world it’s that if you can make a successful adaptation out of a popular kids book, then you are likely to not just have an easy target market to funnel into cinema, but a fanbase who’ll grow up with the franchise and stay invested in it for years to come. It’s a formula that many studios have tried since with varying degrees of success and possibly also the initial inspiration behind the desire to adapt Eoin Colfer’s sci-fi fantasy novel series based on the character of Artemis Fowl for the big screen.
The only problem is that the first Artemis Fowl book was published way back in 2001 and since then the movie project was unable to gain traction until Kenneth Branagh jumped on board to direct. The problem with that is the audience who grew up reading the books are now a lot older and possibly not in the mood for a kids movie anymore. Can Disney still make a success of it though? Well, they have just dropped the first trailer for their big film, so let’s take a look:
Well from a visual spectacle, I’m not too surprised nor disappointed by what’s on display here. Disney has clearly invested a lot of money into making Artemis Fowl the next big thing. I think the big fantasy and sci-fi elements of the story are definitely bound to delight many, though what does concern me is the tone of the film which feels a little uneven and not quite catering to any particular audience. I’m not familiar with the books though, so I can’t speak directly to how or if the story has been successfully adapted. Based on the feedback from fans though, there are huge changes from the original story which saw Artemis as “a 12-year-old prodigy who has dedicated his life to criminal activities” and “leads the Fowl criminal empire”. There’s no mention of a father or him taking over a legacy at all. The character is reportedly also completely different in attitude to the point where it’s hard to reconcile this on-screen version with the source. And the fans are not happy at all!
Artemis Fowl is written for the screen by playwright Conor McPherson and actor-writer Hamish McColl, and follows the adventures of Artemis Fowl II (Ferdia Shaw), a brilliant 12-year old who discovers he’s descended from a long line of criminal masterminds after his father, Artemis Fowl I (Colin Farrell), suddenly goes missing in connection to an ancient yet advanced underground civilization of fairies and fantastical creatures. Artemis Fowl is certainly ambitious in scale with a great cast that also features Josh Gad, Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie and Judi Dench. Let’s hope the film is worth the massive investment and faith Disney has placed in it and is even better than this trailer looks.
Last Updated: March 3, 2020