Jordan Mechner discussed all things Prince of Persia at Comic-Con today, from the upcoming Ubisoft video game reboot to the forthcoming graphic novel to the Jerry Bruckheimer produced movie adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Mechner didn't have too much to say about the new, cel-shaded take on the franchise, despite repeated questions from fans, but he did talk about the Mike Newell-directed film and the screenplay he's working on.
Mechner said that in writing the script for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, that he essentially had to start from scratch, re-imagining the events of the time-bending video game of the same name. Expect carefully hidden allusions to past games in the series in both the movie and the graphic novel.
When asked about the casting of the film, Mechner told audience members, "I'm delighted with the casting of the movie". Listing off the core actors — Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina — Mechner then went on to express his faith in Newell as the film's director, calling him "an actor's director" and sounding very confident that even bit parts would be cast faithfully.
An audience member asked why the Prince, Dartan, wasn't... you know, Persian.
Mechner responded democratically to questions whether they'd looked at anyone of Persian descent.
"Yeah, they looked at a huge range of actors", he said. "There are hundreds of great actors that could've done the job, but you end up picking one".
He was less glowing about one of the more reviled entries in the series, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, about which he's been quoted in the past as saying "I'm not a fan".
"I don't like to criticise a particular game, basically what I meant to say was that the style wasn't my style. It wasn't what I would've done, but it is what it is", he said, addressing previous statements. "I'd rather focus on the positive and hope that the [new Prince of Persia game]is really awesome".