Disney has finally released the long-awaited trailer for the film adaptation of the Eoin Colfer’s book series, Artemis Fowl. The film will be based on the first two novels in the series and directed by Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express).

The cast stars newcomer Ferdia Shaw as the titular character, Artemis Fowl II. Colin Ferrell (Dumbo) plays his father Artemis Fowl I, and he’s joined by Josh Gad (Frozen II) as Mulch Diggums, Judi Dench (Cats) as Commander Root, Nonso Anozie (Cinderella) as Butler, and Lara McDonell as Holly Short.

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A Little Backstory on Artemis Fowl

Cover of Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian
Cover of Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian

In the novels the protagonist, Artemis Fowl II, is introduced to us as a villain who kidnaps a fairy to ransom for gold. However, based on the trailer, it seems Disney has changed Artemis II into a hero all the way. Instead of an anti-hero’s redemption arc, it will feature a more typical origin story.

Artemis II’s father goes missing, but it is soon revealed he has been taken by fantastical creatures because of his work as a criminal mastermind. Artemis Fowl I has been stealing objects of great power from the magical world beneath the “real” human world in order to keep mankind safe. This magical world hidden from human society is filled with trolls, fairies, elves, goblins, and more. 

And this apparently noble profession is Artemis II’s destiny as well. He is thrust into action to save his father working with Butler, his loyal bodyguard, and creatures of the magical world he has just been introduced to. The team will include Mulch Diggums a “talented giant dwarf” and Holly Short an elven agent for the Lower Elemental Police (LEPrecon) and Artemis II’s established “ally on the other side”. This is a huge step away from the novels, as Holly is the elven fairy Artemis Fowl II initially kidnapped and ransomed.

The film will likely see other changes because of the new direction they are taking the titular character and story as a whole. The changes are probably meant to target a younger audience and make it seem more “Harry Potter-esque”. This step away from the source material has already caused anger in many hardcore fans.

Colfer said in a statement that “Disney and Kenneth Branagh have magically found a way to extract my imagination, mixed in a dollop of Disney magic and projected the enchanted concoction onto the silver screen. I am very excited for audiences to the film.”

Artemis Fowl opens in theaters May 29, 2020 check out the trailer below.