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Kenneth Branagh Explains The Link Between Thor And Artemis Fowl


If nothing else, Kenneth Branagh has put together one of the most incomprehensible filmographies in modern Hollywood. Once preoccupied with all things Shakespeare (he directed adaptations of Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and As You Like It), he has now settled into Hollywood blockbuster territory with films like Thor, Cinderella, and Murder on the Orient Express. Next up is Artemis Fowl, a Disney adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s fantasy novel that could launch a franchise, though Branagh is determined for the film to deliver standalone impact.

“[The story] provides a way I think for us to do what I feel is important in a first film,” he said, before elaborating on the title character (played by Ferdia Shaw). “Aside from us admiring and being thrilled by his intelligence and his ability to think swiftly and imaginatively, we’ve also got to like him and got to feel for him—who knows if we make another, but if it’s an origin story… we had this issue with Thor when we did the first Thor movie. Just to try to find a way to offer a complete dish, that’s all we were making. That’s all we’re making now.”

In addition to those Thor parallels, Artemis Fowl has another link to Branagh’s body of work: 83-year-old actress Judi Dench. “I’ve worked with her many times now,” Branagh explained, noting that he still managed to take Dench into unfamiliar territory. “You know, people have little moments of [un]confidence and Judi looked a little slightly trembly the other morning or whatever. And she said, ‘I don’t know how to play this part.’ I said, ‘Well, you crushed it and are doing a really good impression of knowing that you are.’ I said, ‘Maybe one of the things is that it sounds quite unlike anything you’ve ever done. You look quite unlike anyone you’ve ever looked like. I knew that would appeal to you.’”

Artemis Fowl arrives in theatres on August 9, 2019. Check out the trailer below.