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Why Artemis Fowl Deserves A Disney+ Reboot Series

The beloved young-adult sci-fi/fantasy novel series by Eoin Colfer Artemis Fowl was in movie production hell for nineteen years until Disney finally produced an adaptation. Even then, things got worrisome with release when it was moved from a theatrical release to a streaming debut three years ago, and to say that Disney’s Artemis Fowl was less than well-received would be a laughable understatement. Whiffing out the lowest Disney Rotten Tomato score for any Disney adaptation, fans were more than disappointed by the film; they were disgusted. After two decades of waiting and hoping, audiences were treated to a less-than-magical movie plagued with bad writing, bad acting, bad editing, bad directing, bad, bad, bad. Despite having such high production value and an accomplished director, Artemis Fowl was lazy, confusing, poor, and boring. As a result, the movie was derided by fans and critics, quickly becoming an absolute failure and became another casualty in the long history of failed book-to-film franchises.


Yet, another failed book adaptation is getting a second chance. Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians is getting a reboot series on Disney+ next year, even after the two failed movies from over ten years ago. It’s a great way to reboot failed but loved franchises and give these stories the chance they deserve. Here’s why Artemis Fowl deserves a Disney+ reboot series.

What Went Wrong With Disney’s Movie?

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Out of the multitude of issues with Disney’s Artemis Fowl, the biggest problem that ruined the whole movie was that it strayed from the books and changed everything. When making adaptations, changes should be expected, especially with paper-to-screen ones, but not to this degree. Fans reasonably expected to movie to resemble the book, but that did not happen here. All the changes were baffling and pointless, but the changes to Artemis Fowl himself were what broke the movie. Artemis is the son of an Irish mob boss in the books and a ruthless criminal mastermind, stealing from powerful magical creatures at just twelve years old for his own selfish whims and fulfills the role of the villain in the story. Yet in the movie, his dad is a protector of humanity, and Artie’s just a regular kid who’s no criminal and no mastermind at all. Director Kenneth Branagh revealed that this change was prompted by a belief that Artemis from the books would be “a hard, hard kind of thing to accept” for audiences. Though this statement seems to forget that children killing each other in The Hunger Games was pretty well accepted by moviegoers. There’s a prequel coming this year (those movies stayed remarkably close to the books as well). The problem with Artemis Fowl was that Disney didn’t trust audiences to handle the very premise of the books and made something else entirely: a simply miserable movie that could only upset fans, confuse newcomers, and kill all hopes for a sequel.

Related: Best Hidden Gems on Disney+

A Series Can Adapt the Whole Saga

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A series adaptation presents lots of opportunities for Artemis Fowl and Disney. The biggest advantage of a show would be the ability to tell a complete and fulfilling story. Every movie adaptation of a book must cut out a lot of material due to time restrictions, but a series can take as much time as it needs to tell the story.

Percy Jackson is five books, and the show is receiving five seasons. Artemis Fowl should copy the same format, with one season per book. And since the series has nine original books, there’s plenty of material to adapt.

Allowing for a season for every book will give ample time to flesh out characters and storylines that the one-and-a-half-hour movie just could not spend time on. By spending so much time building Colfer’s wonderful world, the series can capture the wonders of Haven and the magical creatures which live below. This will also help viewers follow Artemis’s journey from a child villain to a good man that he followed in the books. Unfortunately, Disney jumped the gun by making little Artie a hero from the get-go and skipping his growth as a person, morally and physically, as Artemis learns how to help others (or at least think of others from time to time).

Related: Willow Series Gets Canceled at Disney+ After One Season

Disney Must Stay Faithful to the Books

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The only way that Disney can recover from the failure of their Artemis Fowl movie would be to stay faithful to the books in the show. The story in the film was changed beyond recognition and suffered from deviating (throwing away) the whole premise of Artemis Fowl. However, almost every adaptation of anything that succeeds does so because it stays true to the source material. Take The Last of Us, HBO’s adaptation that just finished its freshman run, has dominated streaming for months and will likely dominate the next awards season. The Last of Us is praised and loved not for shaking things up but for staying faithful to the source material, only making changes when necessary, and that makes sense to help improve the show. Remaining faithful to the original text is the only way Disney can pull off a franchise with Artemis Fowl, and the story deserves to be told.

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