Published in 2001, in the midst of early Pottermania and Lord of the Rings revival, Eoin Colfer’sArtemis Fowl had a similar list of ingredients: prodigious young lead with great abilities, high stakes adventure, a colourful cast of characters, including dwarfs and fairies, mixed with a thick dose of magic.
Film rights were snapped up in a flash. But almost 20 years on only now is the film adaptation starring Judi Dench, Josh Gad and Colin Farrell (with Robert Shaw’s grandson Ferdia Shaw as Atremis) premiering.
The film had been due to be released in cinemas in May, but the global pandemic put those plans on pause.
“As soon as things started to happen I was sending emails to say would they consider putting it out on Disney+,” Colfer told The Big Issue. “I felt that there would be a huge amount of kids looking at Disney+ and if a new movie popped up, why not watch it?
“I don’t think it’s because of my emails but that’s what’s happened. Disney are treating it as a testcase. I don’t know how they measure it, I’m sure there’s some algorithm to see how successful it is, but it makes it interesting. Hopefully it will get a good reception. Like all the other Artemis Fowl fans I’ll watch it on my TV on 12 June.
“Also, if they were keeping it in the theatres, I would miss all the premieres, which very selfishly I’d be annoyed about because I was looking forward to going to a couple.”