Artemis Fowl will not be seen in cinemas.
The $US125 million Disney film is one of the biggest films yet to be skipping a theatrical run as Hollywood studios attempt to rejig their line-ups during widespread COVID-19 shutdowns. The film, an adaptation of the bestselling Y.A. book by Eoin Colfer, will instead by heading to streaming service Disney+.
Artemis Fowl follows the journey of the titular 12-year-old genius, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to uncover the mysterious disappareance of his father. The cast includes Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie, Colin Farrell, and Judi Dench.
“With audiences largely unable to attend theatres in the current environment, we are thrilled to offer the premiere of Artemis Fowl on Disney+,” Ricky Strauss, Disney+ President of Content & Marketing, said in a statement.
“Director Kenneth Branagh and his spectacular cast take viewers right into the vibrant, fantasy world of the beloved book, which fans have been waiting to see brought to life onscreen for years. It’s great family entertainment that is the perfect addition to Disney+’s summer lineup.”
It appears to be the best option for Disney. The hype hasn’t really been there for the film, and the trailers were met with widely unhappy reactions from fans of the books due to its apparent departure from the source material. Furthermore, the project itself waded in development hell for years; it was at Miramax back in 2001, until Disney finally got it all going around fifteen years later. Big releases such as this also demand high marketing costs, often north of $US100 million, and Artemis Fowl had already kicked off its marketing run. Best to cut costs now.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh (Thor, Murder on the Orient Express), the film was announced for release on August 9, 2019, but was then pushed back to May 29, 2020 – May 28 here in Aus. A Disney+ release date will be announced shortly.
Josh Gad tweeted that he was thrilled with Disney’s decision to release the film on Disney+. “NOTHING can ever replace going to a theater,” Gad posted, “but during these hard times it’s important to adapt.”
Since you can’t come to us, we’re coming to you. So thrilled we are able to bring #ArtemisFowl to your homes soon on @disneyplus so that everyone can expierience this magical film. NOTHING can ever replace going to a theater, but during these hard times it’s important to adapt. pic.twitter.com/1wSYGvq4Er
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) April 3, 2020