When Artemis Fowl is coming to UK cinemas – full cast and what it’s about

Eoin Colfer's boy genius is about to hit the big screen

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Ferdia Shaw as Artemis Fowl (Disney)

After years (and years) of delayed production, a film adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl will be released in spring 2020.

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Based on the first novel in the series about a boy genius who discovers a subterranean fairy world, the film is directed by Kenneth Branagh and will be released by Walt Disney Studios.

What is Artemis Fowl’s release date?

The film will come out on 29th May 2020. It was originally slated for release on Friday 9th August 2019 in the UK and USA, but was later delayed.

It’s unclear why Disney pushed Artemis Fowl back – trailers had already been released with the original release date – but it could be as part of a need to reshoot material for the film, or just because of Disney’s new acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Notably, a Fox film called The Art of Racing in the Rain took Artemis Fowl’s old release date, so it may have been that Disney just didn’t want to double-up on itself.

Who is in the Artemis Fowl cast?

Dame Judi Dench plays the part of Commander Root, head of the LEPrecon (the fairy world’s equivalent of MI6).

Judi Dench, Getty

Ferdia Shaw makes his film debut as Artemis Fowl II, the eponymous boy genius, while his bodyguard and servant Domovoi Butler is played by Nonso Anozie, who Game of Thrones fans may recognise from his role as merchant Xaro Xhoan Daxos in season two. Nikesh Patel, star of Channel 4’s Indian Summers, portrays the centaur Foaly, the LEP’s technical genius and inventor.

Colin Farrell will play Artemis’s father, whose mysterious disappearance sends Artemis on his fantastical adventure.

Also in the cast are Josh Gad (best known for voicing Olaf in Frozen) who portrays kleptomaniac dwarf Mulch Diggums, and newcomer Lara McDonnell in the role of LEP Captain Holly Short.

What’s the plot of Artemis Fowl?

Artemis Fowl is set in a fantastical universe where Earth is home to an underground civilisation of fairies. This mythical world collides with that of humanity, when child prodigy Artemis Fowl II provokes the fairies (who he believes might be responsible for the disappearance of his father) into a conflict that could expose the species to the world.

If you want to read the Artemis Fowl books beforehand Amazon has the whole series available.

Who wrote and directed Artemis Fowl?

The film is directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh, who has recently helmed projects including the Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express (which he also starred in), and Disney’s 2015 live-action Cinderella.

The Artemis Fowl books were written by Eoin Colfer, who Branagh consulted with as he began the project, and the film’s screenplay is by Conor McPherson.

In a Disney statement, Colfer said: “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 see the film.”

Which book is the Artemis Fowl film based on?

The film is an adaptation of Artemis Fowl, the first book in Eoin Colfer’s series, contrary to rumours that it would combine the plots of the first two novels.

Buy Artemis Fowl book series 

Is there a trailer for Artemis Fowl?

Yes! Finally, Disney released a trailer in February 2020.

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There is also some early footage courtesy of a teaser released in November 2018 (still featuring the earlier, and incorrect, release date). The mini-trailer is narrated by Judi Dench, putting on an Irish accent as Commander Root: