Mike Newell (Prince of Persia, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco) has signed on the write and direct a yet-to-be-officially-titled feature film based on the book The Terminal Spy by Alan Cowell, the New York Times’ London bureau chief when the events narrated in this book reached their climax.. The 448-page book is about the mysterious death of ex-Russian KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned in 2006 and while laying in his London hospital bed, personally accused then-Russian President Vladimir Putin of being behind his murder.No cast has been attached to the project, which is said to be in “an advanced stage of development” over at Warner Bros.
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Posted on Thursday, December 31st, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
I’ve always loved reading and hearing what great filmmakers think of other great films and directors. You may have noticed that we ask some directors about their favorite films, from time to time, and I’ve even featured other websites and books that delve into this subject on the site from time to time.
Geoffrey Macnab and the British Film Institute have put together a book titled Screen Epiphanies: Filmmakers on the Films that Inspired Them collecting the stories of thirty-five leading international filmmakers focusing on “the film moments that stayed with them long after they left the movie theater” which inspired them to pursue a career in the movie industry.
Posted on Monday, December 28th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Disney’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, based on the UbiSoft reinvention of Jordan Mechner’s classic video game, doesn’t hit until May 28 2010. But Disney is apparently not so confident that the video game basis will translate to a large audience, so the studio has been pumping out images and footage since the first trailer debut last month. There’s a new featurette out now which explains the movie’s subtitle and gives some context for some of the trailer’s swirling, sandy shots. Check it out below. Read More »
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!
Another great Tweetscoop from Production Weekly tells us that Mike Newell is “in talks to direct Terry Rossio & Ted Elliott’s big screen adaptation of The Lone Ranger at Disney.” I may have recently had trouble calling Newell’s surname to mind (ahem) but I’ve definitely enjoyed a good number of his films over the years.
The other credits we know to be locked in place for the Ranger is Johnny Depp who will be playing Tonto, the sidekick role, and Jerry Bruckheimer who will be producing. Bruckheimer very recently collaborated with Newell on the Prince of Persia picture. These Ranger negotiations would therefore seem to suggest Bruckheimer’s satisfaction with Prince. The question I’d ask is if Bruckheimer’s optimism actually counts for anything.
Disney has announced that they will be pushing the big screen adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time back to May 28th 2010, from it’s previously announced June 19th 2009 release date. The old date was one week before Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The good news is that the new date is part of Memorial Day weekend, which will give the film a four day opening. The bad news is that the movie will now have to contend with Shrek Goes Fourth, which opens one week prior, and Marvel’s Thor, which is scheduled to hit theaters one week later.
Prince of Persia is an action adventure video game which follows an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world. Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) must join forces with Tamina (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. Alfed Molina and Ben Kingsley co-star. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire helmer Mike Newell is directing under producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Persia began filming at the beginning of July in Morocco.
Even with the writers strike in full effect, preproduction on the big screen adaptation of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is ramping up. Last month Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire helmer Mike Newell signed on to direct the video game adaptation. Our friends at Collider spoke with Jerry Bruckheimer, and the producer revealed that a script has been turned in and they are beginning to develop the film’s look and feel.
“We’re just starting to… we have a screenplay, we’re just starting to develop the look of it. It’ll be unique and fresh,” Bruckheimer said, later adding that the script is not set in stone: “We’re not going to film until June so hopefully the writers will come to some kind of consensus with the studios and we can continue.”
My sources tell me the plan was to originally begin production in March/April, which keeps with the production timelines of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. But now Bruckheimer is saying that filming isn’t going to begin until June 2008, which I’m hearing is the latest possibly start date for the planned Summer 2009 release date. Concept art and locations and prop designs need to finalized by early next year. What will happen if the writers strike isn’t over by then? Will the movie be delayed? It appears that the current screenplay draft is far from final. They went into production on the Pirates sequels without completed scripts, and were forced to revise the script based on the locations and props built based on preliminary drafts. To be fair, Pixar’s Ratatouille went through some revision when Brad Bird replaced the director. Bird was forced to stick within the 3D set constructions and character designs while revising the screenplay, and still made the movie of the year.
When asked if the film will be set in the mid-ages, Jerry stated:
“…but that could change to. It might change a little bit, we’re not sure yet. It’ll definitely be a period film; we’re not going to make it contemporary.”
But director Mike Newell, who Bruckheimer calls “inventive and ingenious”, gives us hope for the project, telling Rotten Tomatoes last month:
“It’s not a video game movie. It’s a great story. If you had read the script, you would know that it wasn’t a video game. It’s very exciting and it’s immensely romantic and it’s like Lost Horizon. It takes you to somewhere you’ve never been.”
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is currently being prepped for a July 10th 2009 release.
Posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
Disney is interested in hiring Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire helmer Mike Newell to direct a big screen live-action adaptation of the popular video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. According to Variety, Super Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has made an offer to Newell, who met with studio executives about the project this week. Earlier this year it was rumored that Michael Bay was in line to re-team with the Bad Boys, The Rock, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon producer for the adaptation. But this was before Transformers became a massive hit.
Prince of Persia is an action adventure video game which follows an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world. The Sands of Time game was released in late 2003 and is a continuation to the popular PC game series Prince of Persia, created by Jordan Mechner in 1989. The game was praised for its visual design and finely tuned game mechanics, and won several awards. The game’s success led to a couple sequels.
The initial script was written by Jordan Mechner with subsequent drafts by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow). Mechner has revealed that the movie will not be a straight beat-for-beat adaptation of the videogame, but will instead take “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.”