6:06 pm EDT, September 18, 2017

Disney’s ‘Artemis Fowl’ movie casts Judi Dench

Legendary actress Judi Dench is in talks to join the book-to-film adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl.

Actor and director Kenneth Branagh has been attached to direct the project for a couple years. Just last week, Disney set Artemis Fowl’s release date: August 9, 2019.

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Variety broke the news of Dench’s casting. They say the actress is in “early talks,” but unfortunately didn’t reveal who she might be playing. Exactly who she could be cast as isn’t immediately obvious. Could she be a new character? Or one based on a book character, but modified (older)?

Between the release date announcement last week and this week’s casting, it looks like the ball is finally moving. It’s been in the works for years!

The eight-part Artemis Fowl series was published beginning in the early 2000s through 2012, and while it received great reviews from readers, it was competing against the massively popular Harry Potter series. In other words, Artemis Fowl didn’t get the attention it deserved.

Disney might be looking at Artemis Fowl as a potential Harry Potter level franchise. In addition to hiring Chamber of Secrets co-star Branagh (Lockhart!) to helm, Order of the Phoenix screenwriter Michael Goldenberg has been involved with the script. Conor McPherson is also involved with the screenplay.

In recent years Dench has co-starred in several James Bond films (RIP, M) and will appear alongside Brannagh in this year’s Murder on the Orient Express. Speaking of book-to-film adaptations for children: She played Miss Avocet in last year’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

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