Before stepping into the shoes of Prince Dastan in this May's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, actor Jake Gyllenjack's last Prince of Persia was the original 1989 game - he's not really a gamer these days.
It's no secret that on the whole, videogame movies tend to be pretty crappy - but if there's an upcoming movie based on a game that could potentially be good, it's Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. It's starring a talented actor (Jake Gyllergorble), is directed by the guy who did Donnie Brasco and Four Weddings and a Funeral, and has the full financial backing of Disney and Producer Jerry Bruckheimer - the same guys who turned a freakin' Disneyworld ride into a blockbuster motion picture. It's a recipe for success if ever there was one.
Last weekend at Wondercon in San Francisco, four of the key players involved in the film - Gyllenheimer, Bruckheimer, director Mike Newell and series creator Jordan Mechner - discussed the transition of Prince of Persia from rotoscoped, 40-pixel-high sprite to bare-chested movie star. "To go from that to Jake is pretty incredible," said Mechner.
As far as Jake Gargleblaster himself was concerned, he's not much of a gamer these days - though he does play the Wii in between set-ups on set, and has fond memories of games like Zelda, Metroid, Super Mario Bros. and the original Prince of Persia. In fact, he told Geeksugar, part of what drew him to the role of Prince Dastan was the idea that it would be a chance to finally make a good movie based on a videogame.
"I also like the idea that it was based on a video game," said the actor. "I like to do things that people have tried their hand at and haven't succeeded. Maybe it's a riskier thing to do, but I like that. And I knew that there would be a huge audience of people that I would be trying to appease and that kinda turned me on too."
There's that, and he just plain liked the character of Prince Dastan. "I thought - at least as it was written - he was wry and funny and had a good time, but at the same time kicked some ass."
That he does, Jake. That he does.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is out at the end of May. To read more from the Wondercon panel, check out Gamasutra.