Following the news that Disney has finally set a release date for the upcoming adaptation of Eoin Colfer's brilliant Artemis Fowl series, the film could be about to confirm its first star.
Although the search for the film's young lead continues, there's news that legendary actor Dame Judi Dench (James Bond franchise, Philomena) is currently in talks to join the cast. While Dench's role is yet to be officially confirmed, given her many collaborations with the film's director, Kenneth Branagh, it sees more than probable.
Branagh and Dench have worked together on countless productions for both the stage and screen, most recently appearing together in the upcoming adaption of Murder on the Orient Express, which Branagh also directed. But while the pair have a strong working relationship, many #ArtemisFowl fans have been left wondering which character Dench could be playing.
Elf, Human, Or Other?
There are a few female characters in the Artemis Fowl series, though Dench's age basically rules her out of all the established roles. Angeline Fowl, Artemis's unwell mother, is presumed to be in her 30s; Juliet Butler, the sister of Artemis's protector Domovoi Butler, is a teenager; and although Captain Holly Short is technically around 80-years-old, she physically looks much younger. Not to mention that if the movie is being faithful to the books, Holly is described as having "nut-brown skin."
Although Dench is unlikely to play any of the three main females of the series, she could perhaps play a key role at the beginning of the saga. In the first Artemis Fowl book, Artemis and Butler travel to Ho Chi Minh City to follow a lead on a potential fairy — the very first Artemis ever encounters. There he meets a drunken sprite who masquerades as a healer, swapping rice wine for cures. Fowl cuts a deal with the sprite, obtaining her copy of the Book of the People — a holy book that lists the traditions and powers of fairies — in return for a cure that would restore her powers. It's the Book that allows Artemis to gain the knowledge needed to pull off many of his schemes in the first two novels.
Though the role of the sprite is small, it's an important one and Dench would be perfect for it. However, there's also the chance that the adaptation will swap the gender of an existing character for Dench to play, or perhaps even add a totally new one.
Combining Two Books Into One Film
Aside from ambitiously setting out to adapt a book series that not only involves elves and sprites, but also dwarves and centaurs, Branagh's film will also contain the plots of both Artemis Fowl and Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident.
With both novels in mind, it looks like the Artemis Fowl film would revolve around Artemis kidnapping Capt. Holly Short in order to secure a ransom which would allow him to fund a mission to rescue his father, Artemis Fowl I. After the deal is complete, they then pursue the evil pixie Opal Koboi and attempt to save Artemis senior from the Arctic Circle.
It's a lot of plot to cram in one movie, but with films including Thor and Cinderella under his belt, Branagh's previous work indicates that he could be just the man to finally bring this fantastical series to life.
Artemis Fowl is scheduled to be released on August 9, 2019.
Which Artemis Fowl character are you most looking forward to seeing?