We’re still a couple of months away from an official opening, but with each trailer the live-action Artemis Fowl movie really diverges from the books.
Originally scheduled to hit cinemas last year, Artemis Fowl‘s new release date is May 28. But rather than more closely follow the events of the first book, where Artemis starts a war between humans and the pixie world by ransoming off one of their field officers for gold, Disney’s live action version is casting Artemis Fowl as a hero.
We don’t see a huge amount of that in the latest trailer below, and it mostly focuses on showing off Artemis Senior and some of the fairy creatures that appear throughout the film.
The longer official trailer shows a bit more of the beginning, primarily how Artemis Fowl comes to take over the family crime business. Again, it’s a bit of a missed trick. The second book had Artemis saving his father from the Russian Mafia, while Opal Koboi – who’s the protagonist in the live-action film – is running a scheme of her own. That’s really where the live action film draws most of the events and inspiration from, skipping most of the first book entirely.
The appeal of the first two books was that Artemis was already a crime lord, an anti-hero who you didn’t want to win. He had to develop a soul, for lack of a better phrase, but the movies have him already teaming up with Holly Short – the officer who Artemis kidnaps in the original book – to “save the world”.
It’s hard to not shell out the missed opportunity with the direction here, since that’d completely ruin the first (and best!) book of the series. Still, I love that Artemis Fowl is being brought to the big screen and that Disney have persisted with it nonetheless. It’s the kind of series that could get a real good spin-off just focusing on the fairy world, blending that high fantasy with sci-fi in a weird environmentalist/cyberpunk way.
Still would have loved to see Fowl be a proper anti-hero, though. Artemis Fowl drops in Australian cinemas on May 28, although the way things are going that’s liable to be its release date for Disney+.