“Prince of Persia” creator Jordan Mechner kept details of the upcoming Disney live-action adaptation of the popular video game series close to his chest while speaking to Con-goers in San Diego on Friday. The movie is based on the “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” game, which was the first in a trilogy of POP games released by Ubisoft. Mechner did tell ComingSoon.net that he had mulled an animated feature film of the property following wrapping up production on the “Sands of Time” game, but the lure of a Disney/Bruckheimer big budget summer film was ‘too hard to resist.’
Asked about the challenges of adapting a game to the big screen, Mechner who wrote the screenplay and is an executive producer for the upcoming film said character development was key for the movie.
“You want to be taken on an emotional journey,” he said. “You want to care about the characters.”
Mechner did say that the film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan, will have a large cast of characters and have a much larger scope then just running around the insides of a single palace.
The Prince’s name has been a point of interest with fans of the series, given that no name had ever been given for him in any of the video games. Mechner said it was not practical for the film for the Prince to remain nameless. The name Dastan was chosen in part because it is the Persian word for ‘trickster’.
He also added that the script is based solely on the “Sands of Time” game and not the sequel games “Warrior Within” and “Two Thrones.”
Mechner said he was very pleased with the cast that has been assembled for the film, which includes Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton and Alfred Molina.
Mechner also has just released a new “Prince of Persia” trade paperback, which is a completely new storyline from any previous iterations. He also has a trilogy of trade paperbacks in the works called “Solomon’s Thieves.”
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, being directed by Mike Newell, is due out on June 19, 2009.