Disney's First Movie To Hit Disney Plus Instead Of Theaters, Artemis Fowl, Gets A Release Date

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the delay of every major movie that was set for release in the next couple of months. While most will now hit theaters later in 2020 or next year, some films may skip a theatrical release entirely and head straight to digital platforms. The Disney fantasy film Artemis Fowl is the most notable example so far, and it now has a confirmed release date.

As reported by Variety, Artemis Fowl will premiere on Disney+ on Friday, June 12. The movie is an adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s popular young adult fantasy series about the adventures of a 12-year-old genius, and is directed by Kenneth Branagh (Thor, Murder on the Orient Express). In a statement, Branagh said the movie’s titular character would “be as proud as I am that families around the world will now be able to enjoy his first amazing screen adventures together, on Disney+.”

Artemis Fowl was previously set to hit theaters on May 29. However, it had already been delayed; it was shot back in 2018 and originally set to be released last summer. The most recent trailer was released last month. The movie stars Ferdia Shaw, Colin Farrell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Judi Dench, and Nonso Anozie.

Artemis Fowl will be the first major Disney release to substitute a theatrical release for a streaming one. But in a recent interview, Disney executive chairman Bob Iger suggested that more might follow. “There are some [movies] we’ve decided to put on Disney Plus,” he said. “In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney Plus. But for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we’ll simply wait for slots.”

Disney has already assigned new release dates to some of its biggest upcoming films, such as the Marvel movies Black Widow and The Eternals, plus Jungle Cruise and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch. However, films like the Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror Antlers and long-delayed X-Men spin-off The New Mutants are still awaiting new dates.

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