SDCC: Jordan Mechner on the Prince of Persia Movie

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.