Kenneth Branagh's ARTEMIS FOWL Movie Has Found Its Young Lead

Josh Gad Judi Dench

Disney announced on Wednesday that Branagh and casting director Lucy Bevan have cast Irish newcomer Ferdia Shaw in the title role of Artemis Fowl, after seeing more than 1200 child actors for the part. Also joining is Josh Gad, who most recently collaborated with Branagh in the mystery film Murder on the Orient Express, which hit theaters earlier this year. Irish actor Ferdia Shaw has been cast as criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II, who plots to extort gold from the secret Fairy People, while Dench will play Commander Root, and Gad will portray dwarf Mulch Diggums.

Artemis Fowl is a 12 year old genius who kidnaps the fairy leprachan officer as ransom in a bid to rescue his kidnapped father.

Actress Lara McDonnell has been cast as elf Captain Holly Short and Nonso Anozie will essay the role of Artemis' bodyguard Butler.

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A dame is heading up "Artemis Fowl". Shaw was cast alongside Frozen's Josh Gad, Oscar victor Judi Dench, Lara McDonnell and Nonso Anozie. Over the course of the book series, Fowl becomes an antihero rather than a full-fledged villain, often working together with the fairies to stop a slew of treacherous megalomaniacs. Harvey Weinstein had previously optioned the books for a feature film in 2000, which would've reunited with Miramax parent company, Disney. Disney re-acquired the rights in 2013 and attached the now disgraced movie mogul as a producer.

You will have to wait nearly a year before the film hits theaters.

Produced by Branagh and Judy Hofflund, Artemis Fowl will kick off production in the United Kingdom early next year.

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