Judi Dench, Josh Gad Cast in Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Artemis Fowl’ Adaptation

Irish newcomer Ferdia Shaw will make his onscreen debut in the title role in the live-action adaptation

Josh Gad Judi Dench Artemis Fowl
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Academy Award winner Judi Dench and Josh Gad have joined the cast of the live-action adaptation of “Artemis Fowl,” which will be directed by Kenneth Branagh and produced by Branagh and Judy Hofflund, Disney announced Wednesday.

Following an extensive search, Branagh selected Irish actor Ferdia Shaw, who will make his onscreen debut in the title role. Casting director Lucy Bevan saw over 1,200 candidates for the part.

Coming from a long line of criminal masterminds, 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl finds himself in a battle against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.

Dench will play Commander Root and Gad has signed on for the role of Mulch Diggums, a kleptomaniacal dwarf who works for the fairies–and himself.

Lara McDonnell (“The Delinquent Season,” “Love, Rosie,” “The Walk Invisible”) has been cast as Captain Holly Short. Nonso Anozie (“Cinderella,” “The Grey,” “Ender’s Game”) will play Butler, Artemis Fowl’s formidable bodyguard.

Based on the bestselling book series by Eoin Colfer and with a screenplay by award-winning playwright Conor McPherson, “Artemis Fowl” is slated for release in U.S. theaters on Aug. 9, 2019.

Production will begin early next year in the U.K.