Disney’s magical film adaptation of Eoin Colfer's YA novel series Artemis Fowl is already coming to life from the wizardry of Cinderella and Thor director Kenneth Branagh. But it might become even more spellbinding if Judi Dench, who is currently in early talks, joins the cast.
Colfer’s supernatural books follow criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II, who is just barely on the edge of his teens. Yet Artemis still manages to capture a fairy—not for her sparkle, but for the glitter of a heavy 24-carat gold ransom (and not without his sister and bodyguard). It’s not the ideal way to snatch back the family fortune, but you can do worse than getting chased everywhere by the fairy police.
The gold doesn’t exactly bring Artemis luck, though, especially when he ends up on the wrong side of some of things with teeth, as well as other extremely dangerous things without so many teeth. So would-be villain Artemis allies with the fairies and becomes more of an antihero, as his adventures lead him into megalomaniacal claws.
Branagh most recently collaborated with Dench in this November's Murder on the Orient Express, which he both co-starred in and directed. They also starred opposite each other in 2015’s A Winter’s Tale. Dench recently earned rave reviews as Queen Victoria in the dramedy Victoria and Abdul. She has a strangely relatable sincerity that will have you subconsciously identifying with her character, even if you think you have absolutely nothing in common. And with Branagh behind the camera, the film is destined to be something otherworldly.
Branagh will be co-producing next to Harvey Weinstein, with Jody Hofflund executive-producing. Conor McPherson is adapting the screenplay. Seth Spector will oversee for The Weinstein Company, and Tendo Nagenda and Chaz Salembier will oversee for Disney, which has its sights set on the film flying into theaters on Aug. 9, 2019.