Newcomer Ferdia Shaw will play the title character in the Kenneth Branagh-directed film, which is due for a summer 2019 release
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Artemis Fowl (2019 film)

  • Movie

The first round of casting for Kenneth Branagh’s live-action adaptation of Artemis Fowl has been completed.

Disney announced Wednesday that Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Lara McDonnell, and Nonso Anozie have been confirmed for principal roles. In addition, after casting director Lucy Bevan saw more than 1,200 candidates for the part of 12-year-old Artemis Fowl, Branagh cast Irish newcomer Ferdia Shaw. He will make his onscreen debut in the title role.

Dench’s casting had previously been reported. She’ll play Commander Root, the steely leader of the fairy police force. Gad will star as Mulch Diggums, a kleptomaniacal dwarf who works for the fairies (and himself). In the other supporting roles, McDonnell has been cast as elf hero Captain Holly Short, while Anozie is set to play Fowl’s bodyguard Butler.

The upcoming film is based on the wildly successful sci-fi book series by Eoin Colfer. 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. Eight books were written for the main series, a best-seller mainstay, and Branagh’s adaptation comes nearly two decades after stalled plans to adapt.

Branagh most recently directed Murder on the Orient Express, which both Dench and Gad starred in. A sequel, Death on the Nile, is currently in the works, with Branagh expected to return as director and star.

Artemis Fowl will hit theaters on August 9, 2019. Production begins early next year in the U.K.

Artemis Fowl (2019 film)
  • Movie
  • Kenneth Branagh