Set Visit: The “Bad Guys” of Prince of Persia


It’s been a few months since posted our first report from the London set of Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Walt Disney Pictures’ Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time. (In case you missed it, you can read that here.)

Based on the popular video games by Jordan Mechner, who also came up with the basic story for the film, the movie follows Dastan’s journey as he tries to keep the Dagger of Time, which contains sands that allow the bearer to travel briefly back in time, away from a number of relatives and others who might use it for the wrong reasons. Dastan is joined on that journey by Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton), high priestess of the holy city of Alamut, who has been commissioned to keep the dagger and the sands contained within safe from intruders.

The strength of any good epic, Arabian or otherwise, is the quality of the villains and Prince of Persia has a wide variety of characters who aren’t necessarily purely good or evil. Instead, it’s that grey area of never being sure who is there to help Dastan and who just wants to get their hands on the Dagger of Time for their own means which keeps the movie interesting.

Sir Ben Kingsley’s Nizam is the brother to Persia’s King Sharaman, who acts as an advisor to Dastan and his two adoptive brothers, Garsiv (Toby Kebbell) and Tus (Richard Coyle), but he also has his own agenda that involves being the puppetmaster behind who holds power that makes him quite dangerous. Over the course of the film, Dastan has to sometimes face-off against his stepbrother Garsiv, the leader of Persia’s military who is unhappy having to take a backseat both to his older brother Tus, the rightful heir to the throne, and to Dastan, whose showboating tactics in battle have garnered accolades that rightfully belongs to Garsiv.

Also encountered on Dastan and Tamina’s journey is Alfred Molina’s Sheik Amar, a greedy desert raider who hopes to get his hands on the Dagger for monetary reasons. Along with his trusty manservant Seso (Steven Toussaint), an African knife-throwing specialist, and a gaggle of ostriches, they continuously plague Dastan’s attempts to escape others trying to get their hands on the Dagger.

One of the coolest things we saw on set were the weapons belonging to the Hassansins, formidable foes for Dastan who have also been sent after him in order to retrieve the Dagger. One of them shoots spikes out of devices on his wrists like a porcupine, another one has whips with razor-sharp claws at the end, and they all bring another level of menace to the battles.

By clicking on the links below, you can read three interviews we did on set with the so-called “bad guys” of “Prince of Persia,” all talking about their relationships with Dastan and each other:

Sir Ben Kingsley is Nizam (Note: We should give a suitable spoiler warning for this interview as Kingsley does reveal some key elements of the movie that gives away his intentions in the story.)

Alfred Molina is Sheik Amar

Toby Kebbell is Prince Garsiv

The Hassansins were unavailable for comment.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time opens in North America over Memorial Day weekend on May 28, and we’ll have a lot more to share with the cast and a full interview with director Mike Newell before then.