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Prince Of Persia Finishes Shooting!




Mike Newell and Jerry Bruckheimer's Mega Epic Now in Postproduction, promises a great spectacle due for release in May 2010


© photocomposition ©DK



Principle Photography in Morocco and London for the live action scenes of the much expected blockbuster Production of Mike Newell and Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has wrapped up and began post Production back at the Disney Studios. New Stills and feedback from the Studio give an inside look into one of the most expensive films to be released internationally  in the Summer of 2010.


In Medieval Persia, Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the evil vizier Nizam ( Ben Kingsley ) enter in  deadly rivalry for the Sands of Time

 ©The Huffington Post & Photocomposition ©DK


Set in medieval Persia, the story of an adventurous prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) who teams up with a rival princess (Gemma Arterton) to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world. Which is why after the prince was tricked by a dying Vizier (Ben Kingsley) to unleash the Sands of Time that turns out to destroy a kingdom and transforms its populace into ferocious demons. In his effort to save his own kingdom and redeem his fatal mistake, it's up to the prince and the princess to return the sands to the hourglass by using the Dagger of Time, which also gives him a limited control over the flow of time ...


Jerry Bruckheimer speaks about Prince of Persia: Sands of Time to ABC


The Film faced several delays due to the Hollywood Screenwriters Strike which halted production and explains why the film's release was postponed to 2010 instead of this year ...


In March 2004, the production company Jerry Bruckheimer Films sought to acquire feature film rights to the 2003 video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time with the film to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Under John August as executive producer, the series' creator Jordan Mechner was hired to write the script. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer's Pirates of the Caribbean film trilogy served as a touchstone in how a theme park ride was converted into a film franchise. According to Mechner, "Rather than do a straight beat-for-beat adaptation of the new videogame, we're taking some cool elements from the game and using them to craft a new story." Mechner previously considered producing an animated film based on the games, but could not resist Disney and Bruckheimer's offer. In February 2006, Disney hired screenwriter Jeffrey Nachmanoff to write a new script for Prince of Persia.


©imdb & ©Ubisoft &photocomposition ©DK


Early in 2007, Disney announced Prince of Persia as one of its tentpole films and by June had scheduled a release date for July 10, 2009 before having a final script or any actors attached. By November 2007, Disney entered negotiations with Mike Newell to direct the film based on a script by Mechner and Nachmanoff, though the studio held off production until the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike was resolved. Newell was fond of Bruckheimer's films, and loved the "exciting [and] immensely romantic" script, which reminded him of Lost Horizon. His assistant played the video games and gave the director key details. Mechner, in writing the script, re-conceived the storyline to shift the perspective from the interactive one experienced by video gamers to the non-interactive experience by film audiences. The screenwriter left out elements of the Prince of Persia video games Warrior Within and The Two Thrones and did not anticipate including these elements in the film's possible sequels.


Watch Video
E.T: Entertainment Tonight - Prince of Persia (Official Video)


In March 2008, Newell selected Morocco as a shooting location for Prince of Persia and also planned to film in Pinewood Studios. Production was scheduled to begin in mid-June 2008. By May 2008, actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton were cast into the lead roles. With a new script by Mechner, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, and Boaz Yakin, filming began in July 2008 in Morocco as well as London. Eight weeks were spent in Morocco before the first unit moved to Pinewood.


An animated film Isfahan inspired by Persian Architecture (**). Made by Cristóbal Vila


When filming began, the film's release date was postponed to May 28, 2010 with the studio seeking enough time for the post-production process in designing the film's special effects. The profit margin on the Pirates of the Caribbean films was compromised by overspending as special effects teams rushed to complete the films for their release dates. Variety also ascribed the postponement to avoiding the potential 2008 Screen Actors Guild strike so the studio could ensure that the film leads to a "mega-franchise" similar to its successful Pirates of the Caribbean series. Other reasons for the release date change were that the film was originally scheduled a week before Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Disney needed more time to co-ordinate its marketing campaign.

Top and Below: Shah Abbas: The Remaking of Iran/Persia
An Exhibition at the British Museum





Some fellow compatriots may be disappointed that the film was not shot in Iran which is the actual Persia where the story is supposed to take place. Also the first images seem to suggest that the film Sets such as the Palace seem to bear more similarities with Indian or Arabian architecture than those of the Medieval Safavid Palaces that can be found today in the enchanting city of Isfahan . The same can be said as well about the  costumes. Which is a shame ...


©imdb & ©Ubisoft &photocomposition ©DK



However let's not judge the movie before its release and lets not forget that its first and foremost a story based on a computer game to begin with aimed at recreating the visual world of its creator. We will certainly have more to chew on in the year to come. So Stay tuned ... ;0)





Authors Notes:

(*) Shah Abbas: The Remaking of Iran/Persia is currently An Exhibition at the British Museum

(**) Watch in High Resolution the CGI Graphic movie Isfahan here  


Recommended Readings:


Paradise Lost: Persia from Above by Georg Gerster (Photographer), Maryam Sachs (Author) (Hardcover) 

Persia from Above: A Gift to All Persians By Darius KADIVAR (About the Book)


On Prince of Persia: 

Under Persian Masks by Darius KADIVAR

Jake Gyllenhaal Crowned Prince of Persia! by Darius KADIVAR
A Persian Prince in the Making by Darius KADIVAR

Persian Enigma by Darius KADIVAR



Persia? Ancient Persia's virtual absence in Hollywood By Darius KADIVAR
Swords and Sandals Films about Ancient Persia By Darius KADIVAR
Alexander is Back!: Oliver Stone's Epic on The Macedonian Conqueror By Darius KADIVAR
Hollywood Dream Merchants: Persian Props From Oliver Stone's Alexander Movie For Sale By Darius KADIVAR
The Persian Empire Strikes Back by Darius KADIVAR
THE IMMORTAL STUNTSMAN : An interview with Persian Stuntman Darren Shahlavi By Darius KADIVAR
Xerxes a Screenplay By Ren A. Hakim by Darius KADIVAR
He is Awake: Close Up on Cyrus KAR by Darius KADIVAR
Lessons from the Keeper: Interview with Kayvan Mashayekh & Crew By Darius KADIVAR
Khayyam Mania!!!: Hollywood's depiction of the great Persian Poet's life by Darius KADIVAR (2003)
Persian Golden Boys in Hollywood by Darius KADIVAR
Lessons from the Keeper: Interview with Kayvan Mashayekh & Crew By Darius KADIVAR
Khayyam Mania!!!: Hollywood's depiction of the great Persian Poet's life by Darius KADIVAR (2003).
Persian Golden Boys in Hollywood by Darius KADIVAR

About the Author:
Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant. He is also contributes to
OCPC Magazine in LA/US and to the London Based IC Publications The Middle East Magazine and Persian Heritage Magazine.

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