The Walt Disney Company was in full attendance yesterday at WonderCon 2010 in San Francisco, CA, and one of the films they were showing off is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. On hand for the panel was star Jake Gyllenhaal, director Mike Newell, a one Mr. Jerry Bruckheimer (producer, this being his first convention appearance ever), and Jordan Mechner, who created the original video game and is acting as an executive producer on the movie.
The highlight of the panel was, however, the unreleased clips from the film they brought with them to show off, which is what fans always want to see at these conventions. Forget the talk, show off never-before-seen footage, and you’ll win hearts. And we’ve got that footage description right here for you!
A Q&A session was held with the cast and crew, but no bombshells were dropped or anything of that sort. They talked about playing the characters, and how Gyllenhaal did some major Parkour training to prepare, which basically means he learned all of the skills of those city runners who can navigate any obstacle with ease.
Panelists assured the crowd that this movie wasn’t going to be campy and that research was done to ensure historical accuracy of the time period. Newell attempted to ease fans of the game series’ minds by saying “We wanted it to be absolutely real… and not have the movie commenting on itself.” Mechner, who again was there at the birth of the game franchise, said “To go from something that was 40 pixels high to Jake…was an amazing thing to see.”
When people show up at a major Con with major movies on the schedule, again, they want to see themselves some new footage and that’s what Disney showed off here. Now, we can only wonder if Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will deliver on all of the fun it wants to bring to us, or if fans will be left wanting. We’ll find out on May 28, 2010!
The first clip basically presents the video game elements being utilized in the film. It begins with Prince Dastan’s (Gyllenhaal) brothers leading the charge while he is forced to stay at the back. Stubborn as he is, Dastan isn’t having any of that and creates his own strategy. This leads to a crazy entrance involving a pole, arrows as stepping rungs, and the disposing of an unsuspecting guard. He then lowers a rope so more of his soldiers can enter, which is followed by a fight where the Prince runs and jumps all over the place before stumbling upon the mysterious Dagger of Time.
If you’ve ever played a Prince of Persia game, then you know how much climbing and balancing and jumping and swinging and all of those crazy Persian ninja elements are used over and over again. This first clip showed that the flick fully intends to stay faithful to that recognizable style.
The second clip shown concentrated on the time travel. In the games (some of them anyway, I’ve not played them all) you have the ability to jump back in time just a few moments if something does not go how you expected it to, and need to take a different path. The second clip shows a chat between Prince Dastan and Tamina (Gemma Arterton), which ends with Tamina attempting to steal the dagger he had found. A small sword fight takes place before Dastan finds out the hard way that his new dagger has special abilities. He touches the handle and after some nifty effects, he’s back to before Tamina attempted to acquire the dagger, giving him the chance to stop her cold.
The second clip was followed with a trailer-like bunch of shots being shown off, including all of the bang and pop you want in your Summer blockbusters.
Reporting by Tom Cheredar from WonderCon, San Francisco, CA.; Photo by Tom Cheredar.