Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 29 November 2020

'Artemis Fowl': the trailer for the Disney adaptation has dropped and fans have questions

White washing and role reversing are two of the plot points of contention

The trailer for Disney’s Artemis Fowl is here, and fans have had a distinctly mixed reaction. There has been talk of a movie adaptation of the fantasy childhood favourite for years, and Disney’s film has been in the works since 2016. But when the trailer dropped – almost a year late – fans had questions.

The main point of contention seems to surround the intention of the characters. In Eoin Colfer’s books, Artemis Fowl II is a young criminal mastermind, and the son of villain, Artemis Fowl I. That is not the image the trailer paints.

“Your father is in a complicated profession,” the family's butler, played by Nonso Anozie, says to a 12-year-old Artemis Fowl II . “For years, he has protected powerful secrets that have kept mankind safe.”

We’re hardly conjuring up a bad guy here. However, Colin Farrell’s Artemis Fowl I seems to be more of a misunderstood hero on screen, not the mafia entwined crook of the books.

“What made Artemis Fowl a great series was, Artemis was a foil of Harry Potter. We have a genius who is the villain in his own story,” one fan (@moonsouL00) explained on Twitter. “He lives up to his 'criminal mastermind' title and is proud of it. I don't know who that character is in the trailer. That is not Artemis Fowl.”

They are also upset about the character of Holly Short, who they say has been “white washed”.

The elf is described as having “pointed ears and dark nut-brown skin, cropped auburn hair, and hazel eyes”. That is not what we have in Lara McDonnell’s portrayal of the elf.

Lara McDonnell plays Captain Holly Short in 'Artemis Fowl'. Disney 
Lara McDonnell plays Captain Holly Short in 'Artemis Fowl'. Disney

Her role has also been disputed. She is meant to be held for ransom by the young villain, but instead appears to be shaping up to be his sidekick.

However, the book’s author has given the movie his blessing.

“There were many other changes such as gender switches, plot twists, and backstory which I am one hundred per cent behind,” Colfer said of director Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation to gaming website, Polygon.

“Sometimes a character is so imprinted on the public consciousness that a significant change can be confusing, but most characters can take it without disturbing the narrative in a negative way.”

'Artemis Fowl' is set to hit UAE cinemas on Thursday, May 28

Updated: March 3, 2020 04:49 PM

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