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Disney Turns Criminal Antihero Artemis Fowl Into A Hero In New Trailer

Disney has released the first official trailer for its Kenneth Branagh-directed Artemis Fowl adaptation, and it reveals a lot of differences from the source material.

In the first book, the 12-year-old was a criminal mastermind who captured an elf for ransom, after learning about the existence of fairies before the start of the story. The elf is Holly Short of the fairy world’s Lower Elements Police, and the fairies lay siege to the Fowl Manor to rescue her. While he doesn’t take any lives and sacrifices half of the ransomed gold to cure his mother, and although the fairies resort to a ruthless tactic near the end of the book, Artemis is very much the villain of the first book.

In the movie trailer, Artemis is still the descendant of a criminal family but is a lot more innocent than his book counterpart. The plot has him trying to save his father from the fairies (although the manor siege is still intact), and he’s initially unaware of the fairy world’s existence.

In addition, Short is introduced as his ally right off the bat. In the books, their relationship does warm as Artemis morphs into a less ruthless anti-hero, but both are gradual changes.

I guess that Artemis’ initial villainy was a bit much for Disney, but I find the changes to not just the story but the very identity of Artemis to be rather upsetting. Based on the number of dislikes the trailer has at the time of writing, I’d say I’m far from the only one.

Here’s the official description for the movie:

“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.”

The movie is slated to release on 29 May 2020.


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