For every generation, there is a book series that captivates the minds of a younger audience and creates a die hard fanbase that can only DREAM of the day when they get to see their favorite characters brought to life on the big screen for the first time. From “Harry Potter”, to “The Hunger Games”, to “The Chronicles Of Narnia” or “Twilight”, to “Enders Game” or “Ready Player One”, to the wildly successful series of Marvel and DC comic book films over the past decade and a half. There’s just something exhilarating about finally seeing your imagination being realized in oe of the most popular mediums on Earth. And while some ideas are better executed than others, there’s no denying the love and support that true fans have brought to the table when it comes to seeing their dreams come true in an IMAX theater!
This time, Disney has tapped into a much beloved series based on the character, ‘Artemis Fowl II’…a 12 year old criminal mastermind with nearly infinite resources at his disposal, and is fighting a war that walks the thin line between science and magic. Which is already one hell of a premise for a movie series if I’ve ever heard one.
And the big star of the show for this new Disney adaptation? It’s 15 year old actor, Ferdia Shaw, who’s taking center stage, and will hopefully be everything that the excited fans are looking for him to be.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, but living most of his life in Kilkenny, Ferdia Shaw had to beat out over 1200 other young boys for the coveted role of the fabled anti-hero, and now it’s just a matter of the studio releasing the film so we can all see what he’s made of.
Originally slated for an August release in 2019, the movie release was unfortunately pushed back until May of 2020. It’s not quite clear what the reason was for the delay, other than rumors was placing their bets on the sequel to their movie “Maleficent” at the time, and wanted to put that one on the schedule first.
However, due to the current situation with the global pandemic and theaters being shut down world wide, it was uncertain when, or even if, the “Artemis Fowl” movie would ever see the light of day.
BUT…thanks to the new Disney+ streaming service, new plans have been put into effect for the movie’s release. And while you may not be able to see it on the big screen in all of its super HD, Surround Sound, glory…you WILL be able to indulge in the magical adventure soon! With its new home streaming release date of June 12th, you’ll finally be able to see Ferdia’s acting talent shine, alongside a cast of other highly respected actors, such as Colin Farrell, Dame Judi Dench, Nonso Anozie, and Josh Gad.
The book’s story (At least the first of the eight book series) involves Artemis getting his hands on the mythical Book Of The People, and makes plans to steal the wealth and great amounts of gold from Leprechauns. This is a realm where trolls and goblins and many magical creatures exist, and have to be policed by other mythical creatures in order to keep them in check.
I’m assuming that all of the following books in the franchise adhere to this same formula…
Author, Eoin Colfer, talked about the origins of the idea for the book and its main protagonist, saying, “I just fell in love with this idea of a 12 year old Bond Villain, who discovers a world of technology and magic. And it just clicked in my head, and here we are, eight books later, and you know…tens of millions of copies.” The series definitely has a large fanbase, and that crowd is soon to grow once the movie is made available to the public.
While still somewhat new to his acting career, Ferdia has been involved with multiple local theater productions in Ireland with a program called ‘Barnstorm’. And he is also a member of the Young Irish Film Makers society, which teaches up and coming creative minds the processes and technical aspects of film making. There he has been a part of a few short films as well making a few of his own. So even while pursuing an acting career at the moment, I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing more from him in the future.
And acting isn’t just an inspired hobby of his, but it may actually be tightly woven into his very DNA! Ferdia Shaw is actually the grandson of actor, Robert Shaw, who is known for a very long and successful acting career of his own. Including roles in some of Hollywood’s greatest classics of all time, like the original “Jaws”, and “The Sting” featuring Paul Newman and Robert Redford! So, Ferdia basically comes from acting royalty, if you ask me.
Robert Shaw also played a role in the Sean Connery Bond film, “From Russia With Love”…which makes it all the more appropriate to have his grandson play a ’12 year old Bond villain’ himself in the “Artemis Fowl” series. Very cool indeed!
For now, Ferdia Shaw is awaiting his big debut to appear on the Disney+ format, and I’m sure that fans of the book series will be looking forward to it as well. Even though director, Kenneth Brannagh, has admitted that they’ve toned down the main characters evil and villainous ways for the new film…it was to be expected. I mean, it’s Disney. And he’s a teenager. But, if nothing else, it might get people more interested in the books where Artemis can be portrayed in all of his evil goodness!
So…you know, there’s that!