Dame Judi Dench and Josh Gad are reuniting with their Murder On The Orient Express director Kenneth Branagh for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Eoin Colfer‘s novel series, Artemis Fowl, Walt Disney Pictures has announced.
The plot of the novel focuses on 12 year old boy Artemis, who finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful race of fairies who he believes are behind his father’s disappearance.
Over 1200 candidates were looked at for the title role, with the lead eventually going to Irish newcomer Ferdia Shaw, who will star alongside Dench and Gad when the film begins shooting early next year in the UK.
Conor McPherson is scripting the adaptation that Disney hopes can morph into the next successful fantasy franchise based off a popular series of young adult novels. The novel was originally optioned by Harvey Weinstein‘s Miramax in 2000, but after the Weinstein scandal in October, Disney removed him as a producer, with Branagh and Judy Hoffland serving that role instead.
The film now also has a release date set: a late summer slot of August 9, 2019. We’ll see then whether Artemis Fowl can be the next Harry Potter, or just another in a long line of imitators.