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Irish newcomer picked as lead for Artemis Fowl film alongside Judi Dench

The film will be directed by Kenneth Branagh with a script by Irish playwright Conor McPherson.

Filming will begin in the UK early next year
Filming will begin in the UK early next year
Image: Shutterstock/gnepphoto

A YOUNG IRISH first-time actor has beaten out over 1,200 candidates to be cast as the lead in the upcoming Artemis Fowl film

Ferdia Shaw, from Kilkenny City, got the role of Artemis Fowl after a long audition process which saw children from across Ireland, the UK and the US vying for the role.

The film is to be directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Shaw will be joined by Judi Dench, Josh Gad and Lara McDonnell with a script written by Irish playwright Conor McPherson.

Telling the story of a teenage mastermind who gets involved in the world of the fairy people, the book series has world-wide popularity and has been described by its author as “Die Hard with fairies.”

Written by Wexford native and former teacher Eoin Colfer, the book series has already sold more than 21 million copies worldwide.

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While Shaw will play the titular character, Judi Dench will take on the role of Commander Root, leader of the fairy police force, while American actor Josh Gad, who voiced Olaf in Frozen and appeared in Branagh’s recent film Murder on the Orient Express, will play the kleptomaniac dwarf Mulch Diggums

Filming will begin in the UK early next year and the film is due to be released in Irish cinemas in 2019.

Read: ’Leprechauns and fantasy make this Irish author one of the most popular in the world’

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