Empire has the exclusive debut of two new UK posters for the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced adaptation of the Prince of Persia videogame series. And, oooh, they’re arty! At first glance, I thought Gemma Arterton‘s was a magazine cover, and Jake Gyllenhaal‘s image looks a bit like a prototype Criterion Collection cover from a couple years back. Don’t get me wrong; I like these images and am interested to see that Disney is promoting the film by taking a less obvious angle than “hey, big action movie!” Does the ad campaign mean that we’re actually in for something a little less standard than a version of Pirates of the Caribbean starring a muscly Jake? I hope so!
Based on the UbiSoft video game trilogy which was, in turn, an update of Jordan Mechner‘s classic original side-scrolling game, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is written by Mechner, Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard and directed by Mike Newell. (This marking Newell’s second big foray into fantasy after the fourth Harry Potter film, in 2005.) Sir Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina co-star.
Dastan (Gyllenhaal) is a street urchin adopted by the King, an ends up going after the Sands of Time, a time-controlling artifact held by the evil Nizam (Kingsley). But the games were much more about acrobatics that brought players into the action than they were overt story. Sure, Bruckheimer has spun straw into unlikely gold before with the Pirates of the Caribbean series, but there he had license to create characters and story wholesale. This time, the film is based just enough on the UbiSoft video game series to be recognizable. But Newell has the look of the main character just right — seriously, in these images Gyllenhaal could easily be mistaken for the digital Prince — and that gives me just enough hope that we’ll see a grand Persian (well, faux-Persian, given the cast) adventure, if not the arty action these posters promise.