Casting roundup: Artemis Fowl finds its Artemis and Shazam! adds a Walking Dead alum

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Dec 20, 2017

Disney has zeroed in on its cast for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Artemis Fowl about brilliant 12-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II who kidnaps a fairy in an attempt to extort the fairies for gold and end up becoming an anti-hero. Based on the best-selling book series by Eoin Colfer, the film will introduce newcomer Ferdia Shaw, the studio announced Wednesday. Artemis Fowl is being directed by Kenneth Branagh and produced by Branagh and Judy Hofflund. 

Also joining Shaw, who was chosen from over 1,200 candidates, will be Josh Gad in the role of Mulch Diggums, as well as Lara McDonnell (The Delinquent Season, Love, Rosie, The Walk Invisible) as Captain Holly Short and Nonso Anozie (Cinderella, Ender’s Game) as Butler, Artemis' bodyguard.

Judi Dench, who starred in Branagh's most recent directorial effort, Murder on the Orient Express, and was reported to be in talks for Artemis Fowl, has also been confirmed for the film; she'll play Commander Root, leader of fairy police force LEPrecon.

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Production starts early next year, with a target release date of Aug. 9, 2019. 

Over at DC and Warner Bros., there's news about Shazam!. Deadline is reporting that The Walking Dead's Cooper Andrews has joined the film. Andrews will reportedly be playing a foster parent at the group home where Billy Batson lives. The film is based on the Shazam! comic, and follows a young boy named Billy Batson who gains the ability to transform into a superpowered adult by invoking the name of the wizard Shazam. The film also stars Zachary Levi as Shazam and Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam.

From the looks of it, he's pretty excited.

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Photo of Artemis Fowl courtesy of Disney-Hyperion