The Writers Strike vs. Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia

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.

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