Casting announcements have begun for Kenneth Branagh‘s next directorial project, “Artemis Fowl.”
The live-action film will be based on the best-selling book series by Eoin Colfer. “Artemis Fowl” is the story of a 12-year-old criminal mastermind who finds himself in a battle with dangerous fairies who might be responsible for his father’s disappearance.
After a long casting process that included more than 1200 auditions, the title role goes to newcomer Ferdia Shaw. The Irish lad will make his onscreen debut in the film.
Other cast members include one of Disney’s new favorites: Josh Gad. He will play Mulch Diggums, a “kleptomaniacal dwarf who works for the fairies—and himself.” Gad provided the voice of Olaf in “Frozen,” and played LeFou in this year’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” He also recently worked with Branagh on “Murder On the Orient Express.”
Dame Judi Dench will play Commander Root, the head of the fairy police force. Likewise, Dench also appeared in Branagh’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” The Academy Award-winning actress starred in “Shakespeare in Love,” “Philomena,” and is nominated for a Golden Globe this year for “Victoria and Abdul.”
Lara McDonnell will play Captain Holly Short, the elf hero. She most recently appeared in Irish drama “The Delinquent Season.”
Nonso Anozie will play Butler, Artemis Fowl’s formidable bodyguard. Anozie returns to Disney after appearing as Captain in “Cinderella.” He has also starred in “Game of Thrones,” “Ender’s Game,” and will soon appear in “7 Days in Entebbe.”
In addition to directing, Branagh will also produce the film. The script was written by Michael Goldenberg, who penned such films as “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Green Lantern.”
“Artemis Fowl” will be in theaters on August 9, 2019.