With the Prince of Persia film in production, series creator Jordan Mechner has taken to his blog to detail the original pitch he offered to Disney executives.
Consisting of a re-cut series of cinematics from Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, the pitch only vaguely resembles the current “Jake Gyllenhal with a deep tan” images so far revealed from the actual film.
Though we may never see the film Mechner envisioned, watching the trailer he compiled is an interesting exercise in “what could have been.”
Why did I cut a new trailer, instead of using one of the existing game trailers Ubisoft had already produced to market the Sands of Time game? Because the game marketing trailers were very specific about certain story points that weren’t in the movie (freeze, fast-forward, sand monsters, visions). Co-producer John August and I didn’t want to confuse the execs by showing them a different story from the one we were pitching.
It took me a week to cut on Final Cut Express, in late 2003. Assembling a trailer from existing PS2 game footage was an editing challenge, because key scenes, locations and characters from the movie didn’t exist. So rather than attempt to explicitly tell the story of the movie in the trailer, I set out to convey the kind of movie it would be. (Don’t worry, there are no spoilers – the trailer reveals nothing about the plot of the movie beyond what’s in the game.)
It’s apparent that Disney is hoping their PoP film will have the same fantasy appeal — and marketing clout — of Pirates of the Caribbean, I would have liked to have seen Mechner’s vision, if only because casting Gyllenhal so completely against physical and ethnic type is incredibly distracting.