Disney’s adaptation of Eion Colfer’s best-selling series, Artemis Fowl, has begun principal photography. Kenneth Branagh (Cinderella, Murder on the Orient Express) will be directing the project and Conor McPherson scripted the adaptation. Disney is positioning the movie to launch a potential series of films.
Descended from a long line of criminal masterminds, 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
Newcomer Ferdia Shaw will play the titular character, and Lara McDonnell (Love, Rosie) will play Captain Holly Short, a fairy that Artemis kidnaps for a ransom of fairy gold. Branagh has filled his cast with familiar talent. Nonso Anozie (Cinderella) has been cast as Butler, Artemis’ bodyguard. Tamara Smart (The Worst Witch) will play Juliet, Butler’s niece. Josh Gad (Murder on the Orient Express) will play Mulch Diggums, a kleptomaniac dwarf, who will attempt to rescue Holly. Dame Judi Dench is set to play Commander Root, leader of the reconnaissance division of LEPrecon.
Branagh brings back several members of his creative team, including Haris Zambarloukos, director of photography; Jim Clay, production designer; Patrick Doyle, composer; and Carol Hemming, hair and makeup designer—all of whom worked on Branagh’s 2017 directorial project, Murder on the Orient Express. The costume designer is Sammy Sheldon Differ (Assassin’s Creed), and the film will be edited by Martin Walsh (Wonder Woman). The film is produced by Kenneth Branagh and Judy Hofflund, with Matthew Jenkins and Angus More Gordon serving as executive producers.
The cast also includes, critically acclaimed actress Hong Chau (Downsizing), Josh McGuire (Cinderella), Nikesh Patel (Halal Daddy), Rachel Denning (Doctor Who), Matt Jessup (Dredd), Simone Kirby (England Is Mine), Sally Messham (The Miniaturist), and Adrian Scarborough (Christopher Robin) have been cast in unspecified roles.
Artemis Fowl is the first project Chau has signed onto after her critically acclaimed performance in Downsizing. She recevied several nominations for her performance as Vitenamese political activist, Ngoc Lan Tran. Fans of the series have speculated that she may be playing the villainess Opal Koboi, a genius pixie and Artemis’ archenemy. This is just speculation as of right now.
Production will take place in England, Northern Ireland, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Disney has scheduled Artemis Fowl to hit theatres August 9, 2019.