By the D23 Team
Artemis Fowl, the film adaption of the fantasy adventure novel by Eoin Colfer, will be casting its spell on us next week s on Disney+. While we count down the days to its June 12 debut, we’re using a little magic to pass the time by chatting with Colfer about the Artemis Fowl series, what it’s been like seeing his story come to life as a film, and creating fairies who are more than a little different from Tinker Bell:
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club: For Disney fans who haven’t yet read Artemis Fowl but plan to watch it on Disney+, give us a quick overview of what they can expect from the movie.
Eion Colfer (EC): Artemis Fowl is a fast paced and fun adventure which tells the story of a young criminal mastermind’s first adventure as he uncovers an advanced fairy world beneath our own, and uses his intellect to outwit the fairy police force who may or may not be holding his father captive. On the way he learns the lesson that maybe it is not so good to be bad. There is also a flatulent dwarf, an excitable troll and an elf who gets too close to both for her own good.
D23: Tell us a little more about Josh Gad’s character, Mulch Diggums.
EC: Mulch Diggums is a dwarf who he uses his tunneling talents to become a burglar. When the fairy police need someone to break into Fowl Manor they offer Mulch a century off his prison sentence to do the job. In the book Mulch is a wise-cracking ne’er do well who enjoys life to the fullest while relieving people of their valuables. Josh has taken the character to new heights by incorporating his own famous improvisational skills so that e very line he says is a comedic delight. His performance is without doubt one of this movie’s highlights.
D23: In Artemis Fowl, there’s a whole secret world of fairies, and we’re not talking about fairies like Tinkerbell. Where did your inspiration come from when exploring these characters?
EC: I wanted to bring something new to the fairy arena, or perhaps I should say something old. When I looked back to 19th and 20th century Irish fairy stories I realized that fairies were not portrayed as tiny waif like creatures- they were magical warriors and these were the fairies I wanted to portray. The idea to make t hem technologically advanced seemed like common sense to me. After all how could the fairy folk have stayed hidden for so long unless they had superior tech?
D23: What was it like getting to watch the movie for the first time?
EC: It was a surreal experience to watch the movie for the first time. Not many people get their books turned into movies, and even fewer people have their books made into movies by Disney. It is still difficult for me to believe that a studio spent tens of millions of dollars hiring the best talent in the world to turn a book that was written in the spare bedroom into a blockbuster movie. I was so stunned that it was happening at all, that it wasn’t until the second viewing that I realized how great it was.
D23: It’s been a long time coming for fans of the series to finally see a live-action adaptation of Artemis Fowl. What are some of your favorite changes that were made in the transition from page to screen?
EC: My favorite change has to be the casting of Judi Dench as Commander Root. She took the character in a fabulous new direction and totally nails her Irish accent. I also liked how Artemis’s backstory was front loaded so people who haven’t read the book will get a handle on why he is how he is.
From now until June 6, you can download the Artemis Fowl Movie Tie-In Edition eBook for only 99 cents!