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Artemis Fowl 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

It took almost 20 years for "Artemis Fowl," the YA fantasy novel series by Eoin Colfer, to get a movie adaptation. It proceeded to get a miserable response from audiences and critics alike when it hit Disney+ in June 2020. Will there ever be a sequel? Probably not — but it isn't impossible.

Colfer's series consists of 11 novels, so there's plenty of source material for a sequel. The movie draws only from the first two, and makes a lot of changes from the books as well. The most significant story change is the creation of the Aculos, a magical MacGuffin that drives the plot of the film; various parties try to find and hold onto the glowing golden acorn that can open portals between worlds. At the end of the movie, Artemis Fowl Jr. (Ferdia Shaw) keeps the Aculos from falling into nefarious hands. These events and adaptational changes leave a lot of room for future development. But how likely is "Artemis Fowl 2"? We're here to find out.

Why isn't Artemis Fowl 2 happening yet?

What could be holding up "Artemis Fowl 2"? The better question might be, what isn't? Everything that can go wrong went wrong with this production. Its development stretched from 2000 to 2020, and was impacted by everything from the Disney-Fox merger to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, when it finally came out, it was revealed as a tremendously lacking film. Virtually nobody was pleased with "Artemis Fowl," from long-time fans to professional critics. Its Rotten Tomatoes rating hovers in the dismal single digits. It's such a flop, Disney took it off Disney+ entirely in May 2023.

All of these trials and tribulations are enough on their own to keep "Artemis Fowl 2" from happening. However, there's also the fact that its cast has gotten involved in many other projects in the intervening years. Lara McDonnell (Holly Short), for example, has been involved with projects like "The Holiday," "Belfast," and "Ballistic." Josh Gad (Mulch Diggums) is busy being Disney's lovable snowman Olaf, in addition to other roles. Colin Farrell is, well, Colin Farrell. None of them are likely to make time for a sequel to a legendarily bad movie.

What could be explored in Artemis Fowl 2

At the end of "Artemis Fowl," elf cop Holly Short is tasked with investigating a list of Opal Koboi's accomplices. Were "Artemis Fowl 2" to be made, this could kick off its plot: Imagine Holly, Artemis, and their allies tracking down each and every name on the list and getting progressively closer to the final boss, Opal Koboi. These accomplices could be characters from across the "Artemis Fowl" series, like Oro, the ancient fairy soldier Koboi brings back from suspended animation to help her in her mission to exterminate humans, or Damon Kronski, the evil Extinctionist who helps Koboi gather rare and powerful animals to use for sinister purposes. 

The filmmakers might also follow a plot strand from the second book, in which Koboi and LEP turncoat Briar Cudgeon (Joshua McGuire) orchestrate a goblin rebellion in Haven City. Or they might skip ahead to later in the series, when Koboi is waging a more open war on humanity. Given how many "Artemis Fowl" books exist, they have a huge amount of story to draw from. If "Artemis Fowl 2" ever comes to pass, it could basically be about anything.

Who would star in Artemis Fowl 2

None of the main characters die at the end of "Artemis Fowl," so they're all theoretically on the table to return. Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell are the highest-profile cast members; securing their participation would be essential. Snagging Hong Chau, Colin Farrell (Artemis Fowl Sr.), Josh Gad, Judi Dench (Julius Root), Nonso Anozie (Dom Butler), and Tamara Smart (Juliet Butler) would also help the sequel out in a big way.

There's just one problem: Would any of them want to bother with an "Artemis Fowl" sequel? Many of them have become hugely busy in the ensuing years, and some of them have even experienced meteoric rises. Consider Hong Chau. When "Artemis Fowl" premiered, she was beginning to make waves with roles in "BoJack Horseman" and HBO's "Watchmen." But her career has truly skyrocketed since the film hit Disney+; in 2022 and 2023 alone she was in such high-profile movies as "The Whale," "The Menu," and "Asteroid City." Getting her to return to the "Artemis Fowl" universe would be a major — and perhaps insurmountable — challenge.