MOVIE NEWS – Jordan Mechner, the creator of Prince of Persia, has some cinematic experience, and he explained why it was hard to make a film adaptation.
„The movie screenplay was a challenge because that was the one time it was a direct adaptation. The Sands of Time – the game – wasn’t adapting the story of the original Prince of Persia, it was creating a new story that was custom tailored to that game. The rewind, the parkour, we knew that was the gameplay and then it was a matter of coming up with a story that would put that gameplay in the best possible… that would highlight its strengths.
The fact the palace was destroyed worked well because what’s the point being able to do parkour and run on walls if you can just take the stairs? So the staircase has been destroyed by an earthquake and suddenly you have to find a creative way to get up that broken flight of stairs.
In that case, the storytelling was a pleasure, it was easy because it’s a story that works best for the game. Adapting that into a movie was a big challenge. So this is going to be a Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer movie – it’s not going to be a story about two people going through a destroyed palace. Resident Evil was a horror movie, that was fine, but we weren’t making a low budget horror movie, we were making this giant thing.
So how do we create a story that takes advantage of what movies can do and somehow still tell the story of the game in such a way that it still feels somehow Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? You’ve got a dagger that can turn back time, but what could be more undramatic in a movie than a hero who goes through the movie and any time something happens that’s bad, he can just press a button and undo it? It’s nice to have in a game, but in a movie, you can only do so much of that.
The movie evolved a lot from the first screenplay I wrote, which you can read on my website if you’re interested, but it still kept the same basic structure of the story. Adapting a game story for a linear two-hour movie was a challenge,” Mechner said on GameLab. So it wasn’t easy to modify the game’s plot to the movie to make sense.
Mechner wants to revive Prince of Persia, which is getting a book published by Stripe Press, thirty years after the game’s creation, based on Mechner’s journals written during the development. He’d also like to make a new entry in the series, but that is up to Ubisoft if it will happen or not…