Friday, November 30, 2018

The Skeptic's Guide to Enjoying the Artemis Fowl Movie Anyway

Disney's teaser poster for Artemis Fowl, release date August 19, 2019.
Hello, there! I would be the skeptic. That's me. Hi.

Like many people, I've been waiting almost two decades for this film, and most of that time was spent believing that it would never actually happen. But it is. Finally. And I've been skeptical since they published that bombshell of a casting announcement.

But something magical happened when I watched the teaser trailer and saw that movie poster. I wanted to love it. And even if in the end I don't love it, I at least want to enjoy the ride -the wait, the flurry of excitement over new tidbits, the anticipation of more trailers, the undeniable euphoria of finally getting an Artemis Fowl movie.

Right now isn't the time to be a sourpuss. Right now, it's time to believe. So here's a 8-step guide on how we can deal with our skepticism and enjoy the upcoming Artemis Fowl film in all its glory anyway.

Step 1: Be Disappointed -Then Move On

Branagh says Artemis won't be the villain, instead it's more of a hero origin story. Be disappointed. It's okay. I'm sure there isn't a Fowl fan out there who isn't disappointed in this, or some other aspect of the film, so let the disappointment settle in. Embrace it. And then move on. Either accept the movie for what it's going to be, rather than what you wish it would have been, or admit that you don't want it and walk away.

Step 2: Recognize That It Won't Be The Book

Very, very few books have ever translated their near-entirety to film adaptations, and Artemis Fowl will not be one of them; not because the filmmakers decided they could do better, but because a lot of the book's ideas won't transition well to film. These are two vastly different mediums with different audience expectations. So instead of moping about what the film won't be, get excited about how the film might translate the core elements that made the book awesome into a new adventure.

Step 3: Anticipate A Different Ending

Now, this is just my supposition; there's no evidence as yet that the ending will actually vary much from the book, BUT if Artemis is not going to be the outright villain of the piece, it makes sense another will have to emerge. And IF this is meant to be an origin story, there is the possibility that the film's story might not end with Artemis' kidnapping success, but instead with a situation that requires Artemis to somehow get involved with another conflict, emerging a more heroic figure.

Step 4: Keep An Open Mind

Okay, lots of people are saying this. It's easier said than done, I know, but remember that this movie is going to be a different creature entirely, and comparing it word-for-word to our beloved book is akin to apples and oranges. Plus, just remember that Eoin himself is so excited about many of the changes he's said (according to Branagh): "God I wish I'd thought of that...I'll put it into the book. I'll certainly put it in the reissue."

Step 5:  Treat It As A Stand-Alone Story, Rather Than A Potential Franchise

While it's not beyond the realm of possibility that, if successful, this could turn into Disney's next franchise, they're not going to plan on it from the get-go and leave this film open-ended. This is going to be a self-contained, complete story, which probably means it will borrow a lot of elements from later books, maybe specifically concerning Artemis' character arc, in order to deliver that 'emotional satisfaction and delivery' Branagh assures us. It will improve the quality if we judge the film on its own merit, rather than against the lost potential for as-yet non-existent sequels.

Step 6: Confront Your Skepticism

You have two choices.
Decide if you want to be a skeptic, nitpicking details for a thing we have waited nearly two decades for, because after all the waiting, we deserve perfection, right!?
Or decide if you want to enjoy every thrilling moment and development of this Impossibility. Because the Artemis Fowl film was an impossibility. It was an 'almost', a 'could have been', an 'if only'. And now it's an 'almost here', a 'will be' -but our if we keep holding onto our skepticism, it will continue to remain an 'if only.'
Most movies don't rise like a phoenix out of the ashes of 17 years in Prodcution Hell, but ours did.
Our Artemis Fowl film has already defied the odds once. Are we going to tame our skepticism to see if it will do it again?

Step 7: Watch this trailer breakdown from Artemis Fowl Confidential, because it will remind you WE'RE FINALLY GETTING A MOVIE, D'ARVIT!!!

Good or bad, love it or hate it, we can't escape the fact that we're getting a movie, an actual, real-life, live-action, BIG BUDGET movie, with all the bells and whistles, and a crew that -especially from this interview (and also this one) with Kenneth Branagh- obviously loves and respects the books and Eoin Colfer for writing them. Just like us. ^_^

8. Get Excited

Whether in the end we love the movie, tolerate it, shrug it off, or despise it, we're still getting an Artemis Fowl movie -and this new incarnation is bound to introduce the series to new generations, young and old. The Artemis Fowl fandom is about to get much, much bigger. And that is a very good thing.
Right now, I can mention Artemis Fowl on a whim and only a handful of people ever know what I'm talking about. But just imagine this time next year: Artemis Fowl could be a household name.

Want to reread the series before the film?

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