‘Artemis Fowl:’ Disney Turns Boy Mastermind From Villain to Hero in First Trailer (Video)

Kenneth Branagh directs film based on Eoin Colfer’s book series that opens in theaters May 29

The first trailer for Disney’s adaptation of the fantasy novel “Artemis Fowl” shows the young, boy genius and title character becoming a hero out on a mission to save his father, all while battling some trolls in nifty green sunglasses.

It’s a classic hero’s origin story and adventure film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Colin Farrell, Josh Gad, Judi Dench and Ferdia Shaw as Artemis Fowl II.

But fans of the book series have had some mixed reactions to the trailer Monday morning, pointing out that in the first book of Eoin Colfer’s nine fantasy novels, Artemis Fowl is actually a villain who uses his criminal mastermind thievery and gadgets to kidnap a fairy princess and hold her for ransom, becoming an anti-hero you root for by the end of the story.

Fans suspect then that based on the trailer, which of course could be far different than the finished product, that Disney combined the stories of the first and second books for the film to make Artemis more heroic from the get-go, comparing it to how studios handled the adaptations of “The Golden Compass” or “Percy Jackson” series of books.

Colfer at the very least is a fan. “Disney and Kenneth Branagh have magically found a way to extract my imagination, mixed in a dollop of Disney magic and projected the enchanted concoction onto the silver screen. I am very excited for audiences to see the film,” he said in a statement along with the trailer to the film.

“Eoin Colfer created a landmark series of books and a totally original world of characters. We hope that fans familiar with this charismatic anti-hero, will also join a first-time cinema audience in enjoying a sea of surprises – cunning twists and turns in a typical Artemis Fowl style,” Branagh said in a statement. “His Irish adventures are breathless, exhilarating, energized escapades on a truly global scale. Inspired by his legendary cheekiness and wit, we’ve been privileged to introduce the myth from the page and hopefully create a new hero for the big screen. It’s been a real joy to be on that ride.”

“Artemis Fowl” opens in theaters on May 29. Check out the trailer above and some of the online reaction below:

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