Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner is very pleased with how the film based on his games (starring Jake Gyllenhasselhoff) is shaping up.

Earlier this week, we got our first look at the Prince of Persia film with the release of its official trailer, and the verdict was: Surprisingly, it’s not looking bad at all. Sure, it’s not exactly 100% faithful to 2003’s Sands of Time as the title might lead you to believe, but do you know who’s absolutely thrilled with it? Series creator Jordan Mechner, that’s who – at least if we’re going to judge from his statements during a joint Q&A session with movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer, anyway:

“I was in Morocco. I was seeing some of these things get shot. But the first time I saw a rough assembly of [Jake Gyllenhaal] as Prince Dastan running on the rooftops with arrows being shot at him and swinging, I just got this big smile on my face that wouldn’t go away, because I just felt like it was … like what I saw in my imagination when I played the game, back when the character was 40 pixels high and his face was four pixels square, but seeing it like real in visceral in the best way.”

The reason the movie won’t be following the plot of the game exactly is to make it friendlier to people who have never even heard of the parkour platformer – “a movie that can stand on its own even if there never was a video game,” said Mechner, “and Prince of Persia is that … [the film] captures the spirit of the gameplay, but it also really goes beyond it. It is more visceral, more exciting.”

Still, the need to make a title that stands on its own merits doesn’t mean that the film will be completely divorced from the game. According to Bruckheimer – who has played the Prince of Persia trilogy – “We have a lot of recalls. So when you see the movie, you will say, ‘Oh, yeah! I remember that. That is cool. They took that …’ So you will see a lot of the game stuff that is in the movie.”

It’s a fairly interesting Q&A session, and there’s a ton of little trivia there about the film: Jake Gyllerhalfs is in better shape than his stuntmen, it took a year and a half to get the “time rewind” effect just right, and some entirely-avoided questions about future Prince of Persia videogames (or tie-ins to the movie, as strange as that would be). You can read a full writeup over at Joystiq.

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