Kenneth Branagh’s inadvertent descent into the world of direct-to-streaming filmmaking is now very nearly complete: Disney announced today that it’s formally set a release date for Artemis Fowl, the Branagh-directed kid flick that was originally slated for a theatrical debut, but which has now been shifted over to Disney+. Fans of Eoin Colfer’s tween-supervillain book series (or people whose Content Bladders have simply become insufficiently over-stuffed) will be able to dig into the film on June 12.
The film stars newcomer Ferdia Shaw as a youthful mastermind who ends up getting into it with elves and fairies, some of whom are Judi Dench. Other co-stars include Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie, Josh McGuire, Nikesh Patel and Adrian Scarborough, plus Colin Ferrell, who also probably didn’t think that teaming up with Branagh would result in this, but hey, such are the winding and twisting roads of Disney+.
Artemis Fowl was originally scheduled to come out on August 9, so this actually represents something of a move forward. (It’s also going to look a little funny if theaters start opening up in late summer/early fall, i.e., before the movie was supposed to come out, as a few chains have already speculatively threatened.) Most of Disney’s output has simply been delayed by the coronavirus shutdowns, but the studio presumably viewed Branagh’s movie as an appropriate sacrifice to the hungers of the ravenous streaming gods.