Artemis Fowl’s first trailer shows there’s still magic in book adaptations


If nothing else, Artemis Fowl at least looks really cool, but there are a lot of questions left to be answered about the actual execution of the movie.

Artemis Fowl has always been something like the hipster of the 2000s fantasy titans. Granted, the last title in the series actually debuted in 2012, but the series started in 2001, so there. Here’s why it’s the hipster: it was always a little less mainstream and exposed, a lot snarkier, and a lot more morally complex than your standard Harry Potter. (Not to knock Potter … much.)

That’s why it’ll take seven years since the last book to actually get a film adaptation, and in those ensuing seven years, we’ve seen things like The Hunger Games franchise make money and A Wrinkle In Time perhaps fail to launch the same sort of franchise. At least Artemis Fowl is slightly more recent and has a slightly less complicated plotline: morally ambiguous teen genius discovers fairies exist, decides to steal some of their tech, thus has a run-in with fairies.

This sounds like a pretty decent setup, right?

If your answer to that question is yes, then you’ll enjoy the trailer:

Kenneth Branagh is directing, and you can tell he’s picked some things up from his work on Thor in showing a world that’s both magical and so technologically advanced it might as well be magical. But Artemis is no Thor, and Butler is no member of the Warriors Three; they’re not really good guys, and nor are they struggling with problems of planning. (Of course, the first Thor movie also gave us Loki, which is something.)

The big worry here is that this movie will miss out on some of the humor and wryness that infused all of the Artemis Fowl books; note that we don’t get to see Mulch Diggums, a dwarven thief who provides some of said humor, in this trailer. Nor does anyone aside from Commander Root speak, and yes, that’s Judi Dench. Branagh has a challenge here to direct a script that ideally is both funny and epic.

We’ve got the magic. Let’s hope the humor is there too.

Next. A critic’s takeaways from AFI Fest 2018 and what needs to change in 2019. dark

Artemis Fowl debuts on Aug. 9, 2019.