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Artemis Fowl, What Did Disney Do to You?

This is not my evil pre-tween dream.

I have been a fan of the Artemis Fowl book series longer than I’ve been a fan of Harry Potter. For years, I spent the $20 I got from my parents at Scholastic book fairs so I could add another hardcover copy of the series to my collection, even when they changed all the covers and made them terrible. The idea that we were getting an Artemis Fowl movie has been something my preteen self has thirsted after for a long time, but now that I’m almost 30 and have seen so many book adaptations go afoul … this looks like it belongs on the Eragon pile.

Let’s start with just the fact that they changed his whole origin story to include more (gag) parents. I mean, they did hire Colin Farrell to be the father, which is amazing casting and I love that, but still, it’s all wrong!

In the books (ahh, it’s been a while since I’ve said that), at the age of 12, Artemis is already a criminal mastermind in his own right and kidnaps a fairy for a large ransom of gold, in order to restore the family fortune, which was lost when his father was presumed dead by the hand of the Russia mafia, and his mother suffered a breakdown because of it.

In this adaptation, his father is a general magical artifacts person like the latest Wells on The Flash or some National Treasure fairy edition. So now, instead of this being a smaller stakes heist story featuring a morally compromised preteen, Artemis II has to save the world with the fairies, and he’s this sweet, wide-eyed kid?

(Cartoon Network)

I just don’t understand. Part of why I loved this series, and why I think so many other people did, too, was that Artemis Fowl was not a “good guy.” It was fun to have a young anti-hero who wasn’t super tragic or tormented at all, but had a line in the sand that he tried not to cross. Artemis wasn’t some sweet kid who just needed his mommy and a juice box; he was a criminal, and his redemption from criminal to humanitarian took 12 novels and was earned through a lot of personal growth.

They are bringing in Opal Koboi, who does serve as an antagonist for the book series, in this first film, but the problem is that she has nothing to do with the first novel, and quite frankly, putting her in this one just seems to scream “I have no faith in this series, so let’s stuff all that we can into one film.”

It is quite possible that this movie will be a perfectly serviceable children’s film with some magic shenanigans, but as an adaptation of Artemis Fowl, the trailer alone leaves a lot to be desired. So … why even make this film under this IP? Did the rights cost so much money that they just couldn’t bear to not make it? Couldn’t just let it be a Hulu series, could you?

What do you, my fellow Fowl fans, think? Should we give this a chance, or does this film look pretty DOA? Also, according to Wikipedia, we have Josh Gad as Mulch Diggums to look forward to. God …

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.