Disney just announced the full cast for a franchise it’s been developing for ages. As previously reported, Kenneth Branagh will direct Artemis Fowl, based on the popular book series by Eoin Colfer, for release on August 9, 2019. But now we know who is playing the lead, as well as the other major characters.
Ferdia Shaw, a newcomer, has been cast as the title character, a young criminal mastermind who matches wits with a race of ancient fairies. Disney is keeping it in the family with Beauty and the Beasts’ Josh Gad playing Mulch Diggums, “a kleptomaniacal dwarf who works for the fairies—and himself.” Oscar winner Dame Judy Dench is Commander Root, “the steely leader of the fairy police force”; Lara McDonnell is “elf hero” Captain Holly Short; and Nonso Anozie is Artemis’ bodyguard, Butler.
The first Artemis Fowl book was published in 2001. Since then, the tale of the millionaire criminal kid has spawned a whole franchise, with seven sequels to the original work. Disney bought the rights back in 2013, probably hoping for it to be their own version of Harry Potter. At the time, Harvey Weinstein was signed on as a producer, but back in October, his services were “terminated.” Conor McPherson (The Eclipse) wrote the latest version of the script.
Fans have waited a long time to see Fowl on the screen and if anyone is going to do it right, it’s Disney and Branagh.