Eoin Colfer, one of Ireland's most successful authors, is about to taste even more success. Disney is to make a film of his first novel Artemis Fowl which spawned the phenomenally successful series of the same name. To date, it has sold 21 million copies worldwide.
Two of Hollywood's biggest names are attached to the project. Robert DeNiro is one of the executive producers and Harvey Weinstein has buried the hatchet with the Walt Disney Company to executive produce the film.
The Weinstein brothers left Miramax in 2005 after a contentious relationship with Disney and that year founded the Weinstein Company, best known for low-budget, critically acclaimed films such as Oscar-winner The King's Speech in 2010.
“If you would have told me five years ago I would be producing a project with Disney, I would have thought you were crazy,” Harvey Weinstein said in a statement yesterday. He optioned the book in 2000 before it was even published.
Colfer (48), who lives in his native Co Wexford, said he was delighted by the news, but a little apprehensive about the final product.
The script will be written by Michael Goldenberg who has adapted the Harry Potter franchise for the big screen.
Colfer is not directly involved with the film, which will take at least 18 months to make, but will be a consultant "as a courtesy. I'm just the writer, down there with the caterer".
Artemis Fowl is about the son of a wicked criminal who employs fairies to help in his criminal enterprises, but finds the fairies themselves are nasty creatures. There have been eight books in the series.
Colfer said he hoped the film version would include the “slapstick” in the original two novels. He also hoped the creatures in it would be rendered in a way faithful to the book.