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Jake Gyllenhaal Crowned Prince of Persia!




BrokeBack Mountain Star Cast in Upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer Epic (*)

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"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 - much as 'Pirates' [of the Caribbean] did with the theme park ride."

-Jordan Mechner - It is one of the most anticipated film projects in recent years and one that has been subject to much rumors, counter rumors and exaggerated speculations by fans and studio executives alike. The latest major Jerry Bruckheimer ( Pirates of the Caribbean I, II, III, Pearl Harbor) production "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,"  is finally set to start shooting. After such known Box Office pretenders as Orlando Bloom ( Troy, Pirates of the Caribbean) , or Rodrigo Santoro ( Who played Persian King Xerxes in 300 ) to virtually unknown ethnic candidates like Iranian model/actors David K. Zandi and David Zahedian, the producers have finally officially announced that BrokeBack Mountain awarding star Jake Gyllenhaal will finally star in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," Disney's feature adaptation of Ubisoft's popular video game.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a third-person action adventure video game. It was released on November 6, 2003 and is a continuation of the landmark MS-DOS and Macintosh game series Prince of Persia, created by Jordan Mechner in 1989. Developed for the PC, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, and later a 2D version for the Game Boy Advance and mobile phones, The Sands of Time was a major hit. The success of The Sands of Time led to two sequels, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, in 2004 and 2005, respectively. The Screen adaptation of the latter will certainly depend on the success or failure of The Sands of Time that ambitions to become the next Hollywood Blockbuster Franchise.


In the fantasy adventure, Gyllenhaal will play Dastan ( which mean's "Story" in Persian), a young prince in 6th century Persia who must join forces with Tamina (known as Farah in the Game is played by the latest James Bond Girl Gemma Arterton), a feisty and exotic princess, to prevent a villainous nobleman from possessing the Sands of Time, a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.



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Plot (Subject to Possible Change During Production):


"Passing through India en route to Azad( which means Freedom in Persian) , King Shahraman and his son, the Prince of Persia, defeat the powerful Maharajah of India with the promise of honor and glory. After looting the city and capturing a giant hourglass full of sand, a mysterious dagger, and the Maharajah's daughter Tamina  along with other treasures, they continue to Azad. A dying Vizier, who had betrayed the Maharajah and aided King Shahraman in return for a share of the spoils, demands to have the dagger, as he was promised his choice of the Maharajah's treasures. But Shahraman refuses to take the dagger from his son, who captured it first. Denied also the hourglass itself, of which was to go to the sultan of Azad as a gift, the Vizier who wishes to harness the power of the Sands in the hourglass for himself, making him an immortal god and giving him control over time itself, tricks the Prince into opening the hourglass in Azad. When the Prince uses the dagger to unleash the Sands of Time from the hourglass, the Sands destroy the kingdom and turn all living beings into hideous sand creatures. Only the Prince, the Vizier, and Princess Tamina, the kidnapped daughter of the Maharajah, remain unchanged due to their possessions; the Prince's dagger, the Vizier's staff, and Tamina's medallion (there are a handful of unimportant survivors, such as two people who escape with Tamina and a guard who assists you during the Azad defense system puzzle, who is possessed after his part).


On a journey to repair the damage he has caused, the Prince teams with Tamina to return the Sands of Time to the hourglass by using the Dagger of Time, which also gives the Prince limited control over the flow of time. Before they reach their destination, the Prince and Tamina form a romantic relationship. However, the Prince knows that Tamina has every reason to hate him for conquering her people, and he suspects that Tamina plans to steal the Dagger of Time from him. While the Prince sleeps, Tamina does at a later time take the Dagger, as well as his sword, and attempts to return the Sands to the hourglass herself, leaving only her medallion behind with the Prince. When the Prince catches up with her, she is being attacked by sand creatures, and is knocked into the hourglass chamber through a hole in the floor. The prince tries to grab her hand, but only manages to grab the Dagger of Time by it's blade, causing him severe pain. Tamina, seeing that he won't let go of the Dagger chooses to do so herself and falls to her death.


From James Bond Girl to Persian Princess

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Afterwards, the Prince uses the Dagger to return the Sands to the hourglass, and the timeline reverts to the point prior to the battle against the Maharajah. As a result, the relationship between Tamina and himself is a memory that only he possesses. However, the Prince still has the Dagger in his possession, even in the past. He goes to find Tamina, to warn her of the Vizier's treachery before the Sands are released, and to give her the Dagger of Time. At this point, it is revealed all of the Prince's narration in the menus and cut-scenes from the game were actually him recounting his adventures to Tamina, in an attempt to warn her. But as the Prince shares his epic story with her, he is confronted by the evil Vizier, who still yearns for the Dagger, and eternal life. He plans to kills Tamina and blame her murder on him.


After defeating the Vizier, and preventing the opening of the hourglass, the Prince offers the Dagger to Tamina. She questions why he needed to invent such a fantastic story. After he responds with a coldly-received kiss, he rewinds time a moment and instead agrees with her, that it was just a story. As he leaves, she asks him his name, and is left dumbfounded when he tells her to call him "Kakolookiyam", the name of a fairy-tale hero that Tamina's mother told her stories about as a child and that only she would know of. (In the previous timeline, Tamina had explained the significance of this word to the Prince."





Gyllenhaal is considered as one of the most promising actors of his generation.

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British director Mike Newell is directing the project for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who praised Gyllenhaal as "charismatic" and expressed high hopes for Arterton, a British actress who tested for the role.


"We've been fairly fortunate with some our leading ladies," Bruckheimer said. "Some of them have gone on to become major movie stars, going back to Nicole Kidman in a movie I did a long time ago called 'Days of Thunder' to Keira Knightley out of ('Pirates of the Caribbean')."


Bruckheimer declined to comment on the "Persia" budget other than to say, "It's not one of our smaller productions."


Arterton is relatively new on the film scene but already is generating heat for her work in Guy Ritchie's upcoming "RocknRolla" and the new James Bond movie, "Quantum of Solace."


Gyllenhaal's career is booming and he is considered one of the most promising actors of his generation. His  recent credits include "Rendition," "Zodiac" and "Jarheads." He is a respected talent on the international scene both as an Oscar nominee and BAFTA Awardee for his groundbreaking and daunting role as Gay Lover to the now regretted Heath Ledger ( Casanova, Batman:The Dark Knight).


Jake Gyllenhaal IS Prince of Persia !

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Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard, Jordan Mechner and Boaz Yakin wrote the script, which is based on the many games created by Jordan Mechner.


Bruckheimer is producing, while Mike Stenson, Chad Oman and Patrick McCormick are exec producing.


Production is set to start in July in Morocco and England. (*)









Authors Notes :

(*) Shooting is due to start either by Mid June or Early July in London and Morocco respectively at  The Legendary British PineWood Studio's and at Moroccan film Company Studio's  Dunes Films ( The Mummy, The Mummy Returns).

Recommended Readings:

On Prince of Persia: 

Persian Enigma by Darius KADIVAR

Persian History on Film:
Ancient Persia's virtual absence in Hollywood By Darius KADIVAR

Alexander is Back! Oliver Stone's Epic on the Macedonian Conqueror by Darius KADIVAR
The Persian Empire Strikes Back! By Darius KADIVAR
THE IMMORTAL STUNTSMAN: Darren Shahlavi in 300 by Darius KADIVAR
XERXES: A Screenplay by Ren. A.Hakim and interview by Darius KADIVAR
Sergio Leone's Colossus Film Debut! By Darius KADIVAR
MAGIC IN THE MAKING : Marjane Satrapi's cinephilic choice of Persepolis Cast 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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