Disney’s Artemis Fowl trailer proves book adaptations don’t need source material

Disney’s Artemis Fowl | Official Trailer

Eoin Colfer brought child prodigy turned criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl to readers everywhere in 2001 with the release of Artemis Fowl. Seven books later, and Disney has seemingly undone much of what made this series work with the release of a single trailer. Key word seemingly–and here’s hoping this trailer is simply misbegotten and that the film lives up to its source material in all its clever ways.

The original novel centers around 12-year-old Artemis Fowl who’s already deeply criminal following in the footsteps of his even more deeply criminal father (who’s presumably been killed by the mafia). Artemis has discovered the existence of a hidden magical world populated by fairies, dwarves, centaurs, and trolls and he’s devised a complicated scheme to defraud said magical beasties of some of their precious lucky charms gold. Artemis is cold, uncaring, and a bit ruthless. He’s also a bit of a wimp. Enter his larger than life bodyguard Butler.

As you can see, little in this trailer aligns itself with its source material. While it’s true that some epic fantasy series have been huge successes when spurring the heart and soul of their source material … no, no it’s not true at all. Think The Lord of the Rings, think Harry Potter, these are faithful adaptations of their source material: their creators took cares to stick to the script whenever they could, some times to ridiculous lengths, as when Peter Jackson basically recreated Tolkien’s elven tongue for use in the films.

In fact, when adaptations go off on their own merry little way, eschewing breadcrumbs in the forest for a series of ‘f**k it, we’ll get there’s, things go bad. Right Game of Thrones?