By Nick Romano
November 27, 2018 at 08:11 AM EST

Kenneth Branagh has a tale to tell, one of fairies, a 12-year-old criminal mastermind, and Judi Dench. It’s Artemis Fowl, and the young-adult novels from author Eoin Colfer come to life in the first trailer for Disney’s feature film.

Branagh, the actor-director behind Murder on the Orient Express, has been developing this big-screen adaptation for some time and now the fruits of his labor are ready to be plucked.

The preview footage takes us to the seaside home of our protagonist, Artemis Fowl II, played by newcomer Ferdia Shaw. He’s a descendant of a long line of criminals and he’s on a mission: his father is missing and it has something to do with fairies. The boy is also determined to regain his family fortune, which he hopes to replace with some magical fairy gold.

With the trailer, Disney takes us on a brief tour of the underground world of sprites, trolls, goblins, and, of course, LEPrecon, the fairy law enforcement “Reconnaissance” unit led by Commander Root. That’s the voice we hear narrating the trailer, coming from a grumbling Dench.

“Our world has never been in more danger,” she says. “Human greed is what drove us underground all those years ago to escape from your rapacious appetite.” Speaking directly to Artemis, she adds, “I warn you, boy, you are not prepared for the truth behind what you seek.”

Courtesy of Disney

Partnered with his Butler (Game of Thrones‘ Nonzo Anozie), part of a long line of Fowl family butler-bodyguards, Artemis finds proof in fairies in a scene that comes direct from the first book: he confronts a fairy in the guise of an old woman in order to obtain her magical tome, said to be filled with secrets of the species. But the creature, shifting into her true form, won’t just hand it over.

Artemis Fowl also stars Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, and Josh Gad, featuring a screenplay by Irish playwright Conor McPherson.

The film will open in theaters on Aug. 9, 2019.

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