Producer Harvey Weinstein and Disney are getting back together again. Disney announced today that Weinstein will produce a feature film adaptation of the childrens book series Artemis Fowl, from author Eoin Colfer, marking a reunion between Weinstein and Disney after the two went their separate ways in 2005 over disputes regarding Weinstein’s Miramax studio. Described as “Die Hard with fairies,” Artemis Fowl follows the adventures of a 12-year-old criminal mastermind who kidnaps a fairy in order to harness its magic to save his family. A feature film adaptation of the book has been in the works for years, with Weinstein’s Miramax first acquiring the rights back in 2001. Now the uber producer is teaming back up with Disney in order to make the movie a reality.
Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal are onboard to executive produce Artemis Fowl, with Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) writing the screenplay. The book series currently spans eight novels, so Disney is no doubt hoping to spawn a new franchise. Hit the jump to read the full 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 DeNiro 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.