Plans for a big screen version of author Eoin Colfer's young adult series have been in the works since 2001, when bosses at Miramax Films owned the rights.

Disney executives took over the project in 2013 and Peter Pan screenwriter Michael Goldenberg was tapped to pen the script, while Robert De Niro signed on as an executive producer, alongside Harvey Weinstein.

Now reports suggest Goldenberg and De Niro are no longer involved, while Branagh has climbed onboard to direct and co-produce with Weinstein, according to

Irish playwright Conor MCPherson is in talks to adapt the story, about a teenage criminal mastermind, for the film.