Artemis Fowl set for big screen adaptation

image captionThere are eight books in the Artemis Fowl series

Irish author Eoin Colfer's best-selling series Artemis Fowl is to be adapted for the big screen, in a co-production between Disney and Harvey Weinstein.

Robert De Niro will executive produce the film, which will be based on the first and second instalments of the children's books.

Artemis Fowl centres on 12-year-old Artemis who is a millionaire, a genius and a criminal mastermind.

The series of eight books has sold more than 21 million copies worldwide.

"If you would have told me five years ago I would be producing a project with Disney I would have thought you were crazy," commented Weinstein, who fell out with the US firm in 2004 over its refusal to distribute Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, funded by his studio Miramax.

Hollywood heavyweight Weinstein has mastermind film hits such as The King's Speech, The Artist, and Shakespeare in Love.

Irish input

"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," he added.

The film rights were originally bought by Miramax in 2001 when Weinstein ran the company.

image captionRonan received an Academy Award nod for her role in Atonement

In an interview with the Irish Independent newspaper, Colfer said he would like his home country to feature in the film - with Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan cast in one of the lead roles.

"That would be the dream, to have it made in Ireland, with Irish actors in it. Saoirse Ronan would be the dream cast for Holly," he added.

Colfer, who is writing the new series of Doctor Who short stories, is not directly involved in the film adaptation but he told the Irish Independent he is pleased with those leading the production.

"They are serious guys, and even their names involved in something can give it weight and a gravitas.

"The writer wrote one of my favourite movies, Contact, but he also wrote one of the Harry Potter's, so he's a guy that knows how to do science-fiction and kids' stuff," he said.

The screenplay for the film will be written by Michael Goldenberg who penned the screenplay for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

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