After taking on the enormous task of directing a live-action Cinderella film, Kenneth Branagh has decided to take on a new challenge. Variety reports that Branagh will direct an adaptation of popular young adult novel Artemis Fowl for Disney, a project that has been in the Disney pipeline for a while. Branagh will direct and produce (along with Harvey Weinstein) the feature with Irish playwright Conor McPherson in negotiations to write the screenplay. The project is still in the very early stages of development, with no word yet on casting or an estimated release year.
Artemis Fowl is the first of 8 books in a series by Eoin Colfer that first came out in 2001. Since then, the series has become a big hit in the young adult fantasy world, making the news of this film adaptation no surprise. The series centers on 12 year old Artemis Fowl II, a criminal mastermind who demands a ransom of a substantial amount of gold after kidnapping a fairy. Despite this event, Artemis ends up joining forces with the Fairy People on occasion throughout the series, proving that he is more than just a ruthless criminal.
With the series containing 8 books, this might be the beginning of a new young adult film franchise that could be the next big thing. Hollywood is in need of a new young adult goldmine and long-lasting series ever since it ran out of Harry Potter books. It’ll be interesting to see if this new project, with a big-time director behind it, can go the distance.