‘Artemis Fowl’ Trailer: Fans Are Not Pleased with Disney

Published on March 2, 2020

Are fans around the world still eagerly awaiting and ready for an Artemis Fowl movie? Disney will find out this summer when they release the first adaptation of author Eoin Colfer’s hit fantasy series. The story of a 12-year-old supervillain and criminal mastermind spanned nine books. Now, the story is in the hands of Disney and director Kenneth Branagh.

Artemis Fowl Trailer

Already a large number of fans aren’t happy with what they’re seeing from the very Disney-fied take on the material. In the movie, Artemis (Fedria Shaw) looks like a more straight-forward, Disney-friendly hero. It’s not who he was in the first book. Of course, it’s an adaptation and changes are needed, but why adapt a piece of material and ignore its main conceit and appeal? Why completely change a character? Maybe it’ll work, but it’s a confusing way to adapt a piece of material. 

Trailer Reaction

Boy, that’s a whole lot of CGI. The world and creatures do not look convincing in the trailer in the slightest because it’s all so digital. Not exactly pleasing to the eye. Many of the sets look top-notch, but hopefully, all of the digital creatures are more believable in the finished film on the big screen. The trailer plays as more of what we’ve already seen before many times from the YA genre, as if this movie is ten years too late. It doesn’t play as very modern or cutting edge despite the sea of visual effects. 

Author Reaction

Many, many fans aren’t happy with how Artemis Fowl is looking and are voicing their displeasure across social media. Director Kenneth Branagh insists the character is still an anti-hero, but fans aren’t buying it from the trailer. Disney and the creators of the film must’ve anticipated a tepid and confused fan reaction, because a note came with the trailer from author Eoin Colfer:

“Disney and Kenneth Branagh have magically found a way to extract my imagination, mixed in a dollop of Disney magic and projected the enchanted concoction onto the silver screen. I am very excited for audiences to see the film.”

Branagh added:

“Eoin Colfer created a landmark series of books and a totally original world of characters. We hope that fans familiar with this charismatic anti-hero, will also join a first-time cinema audience in enjoying a sea of surprises – cunning twists and turns in a typical Artemis Fowl style. His Irish adventures are breathless, exhilarating, energized escapades on a truly global scale. Inspired by his legendary cheekiness and wit, we’ve been privileged to introduce the myth from the page and hopefully create a new hero for the big screen. It’s been a real joy to be on that ride.”

How often do an author and filmmaker release statements accompanying a trailer to explain the vision? That’s not a great look. The trailer and fan reaction doesn’t inspire confidence or good things to come, but then again, it’s just the trailer, and it is a movie directed by the great Kenneth Branagh.

Branagh’s last Disney movie was Cinderella, which was a lovely adaptation of a beloved story. Expectations weren’t sky high for that movie, either. Branagh has directed so many exceptional films throughout his career, including Peter’s Friends and Dead Again. Maybe Artemis Fowl should get the benefit of the doubt. Let’s not judge too much based on a trailer. 


Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient, underground civilization—the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan—so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.

Artemis Fowl opens in theaters May 29th.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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