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‘Artemis Fowl’ the Latest Book Series to Get the ‘Harry Potter’ Treatment (But With Robert De Niro’s Help)

Artemis Fowl, Robert De Niro
Viking Press, Relativity Media

Though we’ve seen a number of young-adult novels translated to the big screen only to flop (‘Beautiful Creatures,’ ‘The Host‘) and may yet still (we’re curious to see what happens with ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones‘), it’s still considered a hot genre for adaptations. So it’s no surprise Disney wants to bring the YA hit ‘Artemis Fowl’ to the big screen. What is surprising is that it’s being produced by Robert De Niro and Harvey Weinstein.

‘Artemis Fowl’ was created by Eoin Colfer and has proved successful enough to generate seven sequels. After that many chapters, it’s likely the movie has been in the works for a while, and it’s also likely that De Niro and his producing partner Jane Rosenthal had the rights, and deals have finally been negotiated.

That Harvey Weinstein is the lead producer on the project is a bit of a shocker as his relationship with Disney is that of legend. Disney bought his company Miramax in 1993, but their relationship ended (and not well) in 2005. Money salves all wounds, it seems. The adaptation is set to cover the first two books in the series, and they’ve already got a writer attached. So expect a lot of hoopla about this one as it comes down the pike.

We’d expect 2015 is the earliest we might see ‘Artemis Fowl’ on the big screen. Here’s the press release:

The Walt Disney Studios is pleased to announce that it is in development on the film adaptation of Artemis Fowl with producer Harvey Weinstein. The live-action feature will be based on the first and second installments in Disney Publishing Worldwide’s best-selling children’s fiction series by author Eoin Colfer. The screenplay is being written by Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal will executive produce the project.

“With its balance of mystery, adventure and family appeal, Artemis Fowl is a natural fit for Disney,” said Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with Harvey on this exciting project.”

“Harvey is one of the preeminent producers in the industry, with impeccable taste and creative instincts,” added Alan Horn, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “I had a wonderful time working with Harvey during my tenure at Warner Bros., and I’m very happy to continue that relationship here at Disney.”

“If you would have told me five years ago I would be producing a project with Disney I would have thought you were crazy,” said Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company. “I feel as though everything is coming full circle considering Bob De Niro and Jane Rosenthal brought me this book while I was still at Miramax and within hours I told them I wanted the rights to the film. I am thrilled to be reunited with Alan Horn who I worked with while he was at Warner Bros. and we had tremendous success with The Aviator, Starsky and Hutch and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It is also exciting to partner with friends Alan Bergman, Sean Bailey and of course Bob Iger who has been incredibly generous to me over the years. This is a special project for me because my children absolutely love this book. This story is for everyone and there is no one better than Disney to make a film that will excite people young and old.”

Artemis Fowl is about a 12-year-old Artemis who is a millionaire, a genius – and above all, a criminal mastermind. But Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy (Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit) to harness her magic to save his family. These aren’t the fairies of the bedtime stories  – they’re dangerous.

The Artemis Fowl book series currently has more than 21 million copies in print in 44 languages worldwide.

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