artemis fowl trailer

“How does one describe Artemis Fowl? Various psychiatrists have tried and failed. The main problem is Artemis’s own intelligence. He has puzzled the greatest medical minds, and sent many of them gibbering to their own hospitals.”

Yet, we see none of that in the official trailer for Artemis Fowl, Disney’s feature film adaptation of the beloved Eoin Colfer books about a ruthless, cold-blooded young criminal mastermind. Except in the Artemis Fowl movie, he’s a…superhero? Watch the Artemis Fowl trailer below.

Artemis Fowl Trailer

There is an elite club of feature film adaptations that have been condemned by their fanbases as scourges upon this Earth. And boy oh boy, is Artemis Fowl looking like it’s ready to join their ranks. The fantasy sci-fi books by Eoin Colfer captured the imaginations of thousands of readers who were fascinated by the boy genius who started out as a villain: a kidnapper who held fairies for ransom so he could steal their gold. We would learn, of course, that this was for a good cause — to finance a mission to find his long-missing father and heal his sickly mother. But Artemis Fowl never lost his ruthlessness that was so uncommon in a child protagonist, and the central appeal of the Artemis Fowl books.

That’s all changed with the Disney adaptation of Artemis Fowl, which seems to feature a completely different central character. He’s just a normal kid now! Albeit one whose family seems to dabble in the fairy elements, which he learns when his father goes missing. Now Artemis Fowl, rather than being the antihero arc all us book readers know and love it to be, is…a lame superhero movie? His fairy foes (Holly and Mulch) are now his allies for some reason, and Butler is his mentor who trains him to be a defender of fairies? It looks cheesy and bad, and no, you can’t even win us over with a surprise Colin Farrell cameo as Artemis’ dad. I can’t begin to describe my disappointment with this trailer, and how it fundamentally changes everything I loved about Artemis Fowl. Well, looks like I can add another one of my favorite childhood properties to the “butchered by Hollywood” list.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Conor McPherson and Hamish McCollArtemis Fowl stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie, Josh McGuire, Nikesh Patel, Adrian Scarborough and Miranda Raison, with Colin Farrell and Judi Dench. 

Here’s the synopsis for Artemis Fowl:

Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient, underground civilization—the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan—so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.

Artemis Fowl opens in theaters on May 29, 2020.

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