Lilian Min
September 02, 2015 2:51 pm

While we’re constantly monitoring every movement in the Harry Potter universe, it’s a fair question to ask: Would the series still be so popular if it hadn’t been adapted into a full film franchise? Of course, JK Rowling’s books stand on their own; but there are so many other amazing YA series that haven’t made the jump from kid/cult appeal to global phenomenon — complete with dedicated theme parks. One such series: Eoin Colfer’s smart, cerebral, and moving Artemis Fowl books.

Based on the titular boy genius, his fairy captive-turned-guardian Holly Short, the stoic Butler, and many other side characters (including the kleptomaniac dwarf Mulch Diggums), the series contains eight books bursting with precocious intelligence and dry wit, which conceal the stories’ heart-meltingly emotional cores.

Unlike many of the popular YA series of today, which oftentimes center around a singular good character’s experience in romance/fitting in/the dystopian post-apocalypse, Artemis Fowl is a teenage anti-hero with a cadre of morally ambiguous friends. This might be part of why there’s been such trouble adapting the series for other media; but it appears that Disney, which currently owns the movie rights, has finally found someone who can take the ambitious project on: Acting and directing heavyweight Kenneth Branagh.

Branagh’s list of credits is imposing: Besides being a Shakespearean master, he also directed Thor and the recent live-action Cinderella. (Oh, and he played Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.) The news that he’s taking on the long-troubled Fowl franchise (seriously, this series has been in studio limbo since 2001) is promising — so what better time to start fancasting the films?

During a 7th grade book report project, my pick for Artemis Fowl was Elijah Wood — a hilariously wrong choice in hindsight, especially now that he’s in his mid-30s. Since the character grows so much physically during the series, it’s likely that even younger actors like Asa Butterfield will be shut out if/when Artemis Fowl finally gets cast and hits screens. (Will Tom Holland be too old/busy too?) However, when it comes to side characters: Jason Statham for Butler! Nicole Beharie as Holly Short! Charlie Day for Foaly!

Okay, we’re thinking reeeally far ahead, but now that we’re closer than ever to a real Artemis Fowl film, it’s hard to keep the excitement down. And hey, maybe the fiftieth time is the charm.

(Image via Amazon.)

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