It looks like the long-gestating Artemis Fowl movie may be about to escape development hell, with The Tracking Board reporting that Kenneth Branagh has signed on to direct the project and develop alongside Irish playwright Conor McPherson, although McPherson is yet to close a deal to write the script.
Based on Eion Colfer’s series of eight sci-fi fantasy novels, Artemis Fowl “the brilliant and cunning 12-year-old eponymous criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II whose cunning plot to extort gold from the secret Fairy People puts him directly in the cross-hairs of some of the most dangerous creatures on earth. Over the series, Fowl becomes a sort of anti-hero rather than a full-fledged villain, often having to work together with the fairies to stop a slew of treacherous megalomaniacs.”
The movie rights to Artemis Fowl were first snapped up by Miramax Films in 2001, with Disney subsequently acquiring them after purchasing Miramax. Both Lawrence Guterman and Jim Sheridan have previously been attached to direct, while the project has gone through no less than ten writers over the years.