New Disney film 'Artemis Fowl' shot along North Coast under direction of NI native Kenneth Brannagh[sic]
The Northern Irish actor and director joked that they had "four seasons in a day" along the North Coast, which proved perfect for filming
Belfast, 19 June 2020
The film, which is stream exclusively on Disney+ from Friday, 12 June, is based on Eoin Colfer’s best-selling young adult book of the same name.
'Artemis Fowl' was filmed partly on location along Northern Ireland’s north coast for 2 weeks during the summer of 2018.
Supported by Northern Ireland Screen, filming took place at Whitetrocks Beach, Portrush and Dunluce Castle.
The film is directed by Northern Ireland native Sir Kenneth Branagh, who came home personally to shoot on location.
Artemis Fowl follows the adventures of a 12-year-old genius who finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
The film stars newcomer Ferdia Shaw in the title role alongside Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie, Josh McGuire, Nikesh Patel and Adrian Scarborough, with Colin Farrell and Judi Dench.
Speaking about his experience of filming in Northern Ireland Sir Kenneth Branagh said; “It was amazing to come into the North Antrim coast area with five separate units; an aerial unit, a marine unit, a unit for transporting cars and the acting unit.
"We had a semi hurricane in the middle of hurricane Hector which gave us wonderful weather, either side we had fantastic sunshine, this was perfect for the film, four seasons in a day!
"We were in a Northern Ireland film making environment that was super sophisticated, of course being seven seasons into Game of Thrones, and with everything else that’s been shot in that part of the world. This meant that it was a seamless operation and I’ve never been so seamlessly welcomed.”
Rotha Johnston, Chairwoman of Northern Ireland Screen, said: "We were delighted to have our Honorary President, Sir Kenneth Branagh come home to film some of Artemis Fowl, reinforcing Northern Ireland’s reputation as a world-class location for film and television production.
Stretching from Curran Strand to Dunluce Castle are the unique limestone cliffs of the White Rocks. These soft sedimentary rocks have been carved through centuries into a labyrinth of caves and arches, magical headlands of distinguishable forms rise out of the ocean with names like Shelagh's Head, the Giants Head, the Wishing Arch, Elephant Rock and the Lion's Paw, while underneath the road you drive upon, huge cavernous caves, accessible only from the sea are home to scores of seabirds and the hunting ground for hawks. The caves are exceptional and one of the hidden treasures to be discovered along the coast.
"Artemis Fowl gives us so much to be proud of in these strange times; it is heart-warming to think that while many countries are still in lockdown due to the global pandemic, Disney+ is bringing the beautiful north coast of Northern Ireland into the homes of subscribers from around the world.”
Economy Minister Diane Dodds added: “In these challenging times this is most certainly great news as once again our beautiful scenery will be streamed around the world in this magical film. There is a proven relationship between screen content and tourism with countries that attract the production of high quality film and television benefitting from a related growth in tourism.
"With our tourism sector having suffered greatly during the current pandemic this film helps to showcase us to an international audience and as a potential destination once international travel opens up again. The announcement also underlines the value of the NI screen industries in their own terms as significant players on the world stage.”
Artemis Fowl is streaming on Disney+ as of Friday, June 12.