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Ferdia Shaw to join Judi Dench and Josh Gad for Disney's Artemis Fowl

Disney has cast Irish-born actor Ferdia Shaw as the lead for the forthcoming fantasy adventure adaptation of author Eoin Colfer’s ARTEMIS FOWL. Kenneth Branagh will direct from a script penned by Conor McPherson as Shaw is joined by  Josh GadJudi Dench, Lara McDonnell and Nonso Anozie for a bit of mischievous movie magic. Ferida won the role after Disney auditioned 1,200 candidates for the role. This will be Shaw's feature film debut.

Originally, the film was to be set up via Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s Miramax. However, in the wake of copious amounts of sexual harassment claims against Harvey Weinstein, Disney has since removed the movie mogul from his producer role on the film. As a result of Weinstein's firing, Branagh and Judy Hofflund will now act as producers in his stead.

Eoin Colfer's novel, upon which the film is based, tells the tale of Artemis Fowl II, a young Irish criminal mastermind, who kidnaps the fairy LEPrecon officer Holly Short for ransom to fund rescuing his father. Once a transaction is made, they go onto a hunt for the evil pixie Opal Koboi and rush to save Artemis Fowl senior from the Arctic.

For the film, Josh Gad will step into the role of Mulch Diggums, a deceptive kleptomaniacal dwarf who works for the fairies - as well as himself. Judi Dench will star in the high-fantasy film as Commander Root, the barbarous leader of the fairy police force. Meanwhile, McDonnell is set to act as Captain Holly Short, the Heterochromia-afflicted elf hero who serves as the first-ever female member of LEPrecon.  Last, but certainly not least, Anozie will play Butler, Artemis’ steadfast bodyguard.

Could it be that in a time when superhero films rule the Hollywood mountain that we're overdue for the fantasy genre to make a triumphant return? With such incredible star power behind this project, I can't help but be curious about this one. With any luck, ARTEMIS FOWL will dazzle audiences enough to spark interest in adapting other fantasy properties like The Blackthorn Key, Sister's Grimm, and Wildwood series for the big screen.

Have you read the Artemis Fowl novels? Are there any other fantasy properties you'd like to see adapted to film? Let us know the answer to either question in the comments section below.

ARTEMIS FOWL will debut in theaters on August 9, 2019.

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