Prince Of Persia & Other “Game-to-Movie” Thoughts

Published 7 years ago by

prince of persia Prince Of Persia & Other Game to Movie Thoughts

If you’re keeping track, or looking for any tidbits, the much anticipated translation of the Ubisoft game, Prince of Persia, has reportedly started filming on the 16th of September.

As we’ve noted previously, Jake Gyllenhaal of Brokeback Mountain fame, stars in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Also starring in the flick are Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina and Toby Kebbell.

The project is an effort between Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and is slated for a 2010 release. It’s about a prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from doing some evil deeds.

So why am I not jazzed about the upcoming new video game-to-movie effort?

At the moment it seems to me that Prince of Persia has some serious industry backing with Disney and Bruckheimer. This combination alone gives me the sense that it has potential.

But what tempers my anticipation for Prince of Persia are the writers.

  • Carlo Bernard: Very limited experience of writing credits.
  • Jordan Mechner: Limited experience in writing credits, and most of them are related to video games.
  • Doug Miro: Three credits: One of them is Prince…, another is still to be released.
  • Boaz Yakin: Boaz has the most experience, and a few flicks I’ve actually heard of. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, From Dusk Till Dawn 2. Hmm… vampires and dancing. That should mix well with Persian prince politics. (I said “heard of”… I missed these two fine literary contributions to the annals of film.)

Besides filming having commenced, the only other news that’s come out of the project is about the new 22-year-old Bond girl, Gemma Arterton, moving in with the 19-year-old stuntman Eduardo Munoz, who was hired to teach her to ride horses for Prince. They said horses Eduardo. Horses! It must be chemistry because he’s already moved in with Gemma and she hired a translator to teach them each others language so they can understand each other… verbally. Kids. Sheesh. I give it till he end of filming, at best. Maybe they’ll learn enough vile language to learn how to break up properly.

The only salvation that keeps my eye in this direction is the director, Mike Newell. Newell has a history of success behind him, including putting the fantasy genre to screen. (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) But he just may have his job cut out for him.

How Many Video Games Must We Suffer Through?

I have to confess that with my digital, 5-speaker surround sound computer system I like gaming. When I’m pinned by two armored vehicles and only 2 rockets and a couple of satchel charges to my digital name, it’s fun. Or when I’m driving my NASCAR simulator, the place shakes, windows rattle and the animals run for their lives in my place – hehe. But my motivation, my story is to destroy the other guy and not be destroyed or just move that other car… who cares what happens or why. Just go go go. My first online win came from a move sort of like that. Hehehe.

The aspect I ponder is how video games translate as a story into a movie? What’s my motivation? It’s a single emotion, maybe two. Escape some of my daily woes, destroy the enemy. But yet, on that premise alone, it seems that many games have been made into movies.

Many game-to-movie efforts have floundered, heck there were many I didn’t even know were translated to movies. Sometimes it seems that they hire actors who look like the game characters, hand them props from the game and thell them to run that way, and pull the trigger. Go go go!! That’s a wrap! Now jump through the window. That’s a wrap! If he survives, we’ll have him jump over a car! Dialog… Oh yeah… forgot that. Propmaster!!?? What do you think he might say here?

At the front of my brain is Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson in the translation of one of my old favorite first-person shooters, Doom! Despite the fact that I tend to gravitate to action oriented, lead splaying movies that just make me feel better after a rough day, it was just OK. Even I need some story behind the bullet distribution patterns.

The video game-to-movie rendition I’ve enjoyed was Resident Evil. I never played the game. I was too busy with Doom and all the add-ons, add-ins and add-to’s, but I liked the premise of Resident Evil, not to mention really enjoying watching Milla Jonovich kick butt.

Speaking of watching, I think when you “cross a Playboy Bunny with Bruce Wayne” archeologist type character in the Lara Croft films with Angelina Jolie, and add semi-Ok writing, it’s bound to be a hit and is one of my perennial favorites on the tube as repeats when nothing else is competing for my writers eye. (I hope my wife isn’t reading this.)

A lot of the time I can’t imagine trying to create a story out of a first person shooter that is a compelling tale to tell. To further complicate the situation is not committing the money and nabbing up-and-coming actors that may not have the draw of big names. The one flick I am not even holding my breath on is Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li starring Smallville’s Kristen Kreuk. Without a Clark to pine about, what will she do? Oh… did I just say that?

One movie that I think has a lot of anticipation is Max Payne. It stars Mark Wahlberg, and written by Shawn Ryan, whose latest endeavor includes The Shield. This flick is due to come out October 17th. The previews look like it doesn’t suck and it’s got me interested, unlike most previews of game-to-movies previews.

Yes, I’ve left out a lot of game-to-movie names. And there are a lot. So like I said, or recommend to the game / movie makers: If you don’t have the bucks, and can’t hire the big names, maybe it would be best if you just waited a bit to get the mula. I’d rather have a movie I’ve made to have a lasting impression than something that only gets remembered because it’s added to a list somewhere.

Just ask Bruce. He’ll tell ya’ like he sees it.

DISCLAIMER: When I say I enjoyed a game-to-movie translation, I did not say it was a fantastic, earth shattering story captivating movie. I just enjoy it for what it is. I thought I’d say that before you started slamming me for calling something good. It is good for the moment. Kind a’ like candy or beer.

Sources:, Daily, IMDB

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  1. What happend to all the games we were promised when the xbox360 came out.
    Microsoft/skynet ?????

    All I see are movie tie in games…
    Iron Man comes out and whala there’s a new Iron Man game.
    Nothing original here. Same with Hulk and even Wall-E. You can count on an new Price of Persa game rollout when the films released.
    What is going on here?

    Its starting to get real obvious,,,
    The movie industry and gaming industry (same thing really), are feeding off each other like pharana fish….

    Man are the wheels falling off our culture or what ?
    Prince of Persa, who cares!!!! 8-(

  2. If I misspelled anything in my last post its cause I’m playing Halo3 online. 8-)

  3. I cant think of a single movie based on a video game that I have liked.

  4. Yea, it used to be that a movie would come out and then we’d see the products. Now they’re backward engineering the things. Toys and games becoming movies!

  5. You know I played a demo of Prince of Persia,,, and the guys just a character that uses a huge sword to kill mythical beasts, and other assorted ppl.

    It even has a kinda manga edge to it.

  6. @Gary

    Mortal Kombat was nicely done. Just enough plot to move the story forward. More plot than an older Jackie Chan movie (Drunken Master era). Which if you liked those, then give MK a shot. Good vs Evil, Christopher Lambert, 4 armed villain, and lots of bloodless kung fu (save one scene). A good popcorn flick.

  7. halo movies, mass effect movie, lost planet movie, gears of war movie, God of War movie…which hit game franchise is not getting movie rights? It’s like comic books. It seems big selling movies can’t be original anymore.

  8. “It seems big selling movies can’t be original anymore.”

    Probably intended to go for the built in fanbase. They get a property that they know has fans already, and they figure they’ll have guaranteed ticket and DVD sales.

    A new story, a new world with new characters, you don’t have that built in audience, and they figure that’s more risky. What they don’t seem take into account is that if they screw up the first movie, the fans can be unforgiving, which can reduce future sales.

  9. I’ve always wanted to see a Zelda movie. I think the right script could yield a Lord of the Rings-esqe trilogy that could really kick ass. Also Metroid Prime could make a sweet movie. Obviously I’m an old school Nintendo guy.. I do think Max Payne looks pretty promising, though I know nothing about the game. But that might actually help.

  10. Don’t forget Jordan Mechner made the original Prince of Persia

  11. Halo movie please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Oscar: Whether a Halo movie is going to happen or not is up to Microsoft. Halo had a stumbled go at it once before, but MS made too many “quality issue” demands about it and studios dropped out.

  13. Yea, Microsoft owns Halo now so Bungie has no word. That could be a bad thing :( or a good thing :)

  14. @FlameStrike

    Unforgiving is right; look what happened to “The Incredible Hulk”. The first Hulk film was a snooze-fest, so the fans feel the producers don’t know how to make a Hulk film. Now comes TIH, a much better film but the fans remember the snooze-fest. What happens? TIH suffers because of the predecessor.

    Yes, Mortal Kombat (1st movie only) was very entertaining, although I wish they could have gotten a blond bombshell that could actually do martial arts. I was also surprised at how well Resident Evil was done. I went into that movie expecting trash but was pleasantly surprised. The sequel, I thought, was also pretty good but I didn’t think much of the last one.

    A Duke Nukem movie (which is in the works) could be huge if done right.

  15. I’ve gotta say: I play games for storyline ( Sorry, NASCAR doesn’t have one. )

    Most video games have more of an original story than any movie we’ve seen recently– and I firmly believe if, whilst making a movie based off a VG, they sticked closer to the game’s actual story and tried not to make it into an action-packed, two-dimensional version of Die Hard then they would be much, much better.

    You mentioned the Resident Evil movies– sure, I guess they weren’t the worst movies I’ve seen, but being a fan of the games and having beaten all of them, they could’ve been much better. Like, for instance, how about we have a main character that was in ONE of the games? Or try to atleast explain where the hell Clara disappeared to in the third film? And where is her brother, Chris? Nemesis is a good guy now? He chased you with a rocket launcher most of the game.

    Then Max Payne, the game equivalent to The Punisher + Ultraviolet ( comic, not movie ) and they haven’t added any of what the game was famous for. Bullet time / Pain killers / terribly bloody battles. All they’re doing is making Constantine again, except his family is dead.

    I think they need to stop making video game movies because they’re ruining good VG storylines.


  16. Reverend: Heyyyy (Sorry, NASCAR doesn’t have one. )… then again, that is hard to defend against.

    The only thing I can come up with for NASCAR (BESIDES Days of Thunder) is the development of a driver, from their perspective from lesser series to the main series… personal sacrifice and gain type thing… but it would be hard to patch several years into a movie, with all the nuances needed to make it interesting. Unless there’s a love affair and the car hits an iceberg and … oh, wait, wrong movie.

  17. I just hope in Max Payne that Wahlberg isn’t still trying to outrun the wind.

    Geesh, The Happening was a horrid, horrid movie.

  18. Half-Life movie!!!

  19. id love to see more video-game films.
    just less uwe boll video game movies blood rayne was sweet but alone in the dark could have not sucked as bad.
    POSTAL was funny. and i loved that he got the cat-silencer .
    that kiked @$$.

  20. They should make a movie based on the Iron Man game that was based on the movie. They can call it Iron Man the Movie the Game, lol, j/k

    You know, with the depth of the characters in the Half Life games since HL2, it would be pretty interesting to make a movie, but it would have to be pretty high budget due to all of the alien stuff, so it might be a big gamble. Perhaps the first movie would be focused on the more grounded stuff like the Combine and other things that might not be too expensive, then if that does well and the film companies have confidence in a sequel, they can then move on to the bigger things like the Striders and Hunters and taking down the Citadel and other things like that. Would be interesting I think.

  21. Thing is: a video game has 10 hours, 20, even 40+ hours to flesh out the story.

    A film as 2

  22. Not really Rob, the story parts of games are usually only about a minute at a time, then it’s the exploring and action that you control. Movies allow for a lot more depth into story than video games in my opinion. If as much “character” time was in a game, kids will get bored of watching the characters talk and would probably skip it if they can to get to the next set of action. Movies are the complete opposite. If they have an action sequence that lasts over 30 minutes, everyone will get tired of it and most will consider it a space filler. The only time I remember this happening and I liked it was the ending of The Kingdom. That was some crazy stuff.

    Most first person shooters are 20-30 hours long, and the majority of that are player controlled and will have very limited character development. Most of that happens in cut scenes.

    An obvious exception to that rule is Half Life 2, where you NEVER see anything outside of Gordon’s eyes and all of the character development happens in real time around you. And of course, there is ZERO character development for Gordon since he NEVER speaks and they did this on purpose. They didn’t want to risk him saying something the player could not relate to, so they make him almost a mute so you, the player, can insert your own idea for a response to any given situation, and can assume that’s what the character is thinking. You also never miss a single minute of anything Gordon experiences. One game ends with Gordon passing out, another begins with him waking up. You, the player, experiences every waking moment of Gordon’s. I think it is a very interesting approach. I can’t wait for Episode III…

  23. Hey Ken J,,,
    How’s that Orange Box game???? Is it mostly multiplayer stuff or is there a good single player game in that mess?

    I beat halflife2.

  24. “Unforgiving is right; look what happened to “The Incredible Hulk”.”

    I was also referring to myself and another movie. I’m so unforgiving that I won’t even bother watching anything else made by that team, or any member of that team.

  25. “An obvious exception to that rule is Half Life 2, where you NEVER see anything outside of Gordon’s eyes and all of the character development happens in real time around you.”

    Sounds similar to System Shock in some ways. That’s another one where you get a lot of story and characters development in “real time.” The only difference is the player never encounters anyone alive except the character he gets e-mails from, and that’s one way communication.

    Personally, I think with a good writer, System Shock could be adapted well. The only problem may be getting the rights.

  26. The story in, Half Life2 is just another hero going up against an evil draconian leader, during a futuristic state controlled marshall law scenario…
    (Very generic as far as Vid games go)

    The fun part of (PLAYING) Half Life2, is the Gravity Gun, and the overall fastpaced realism the game provides…

  27. Even games with legendary storylines wouldn’t work on the bigscreen simply because they don’t have mass appeal. The ‘real-time character developement’ has been in play since Breath of Fire’s early years aswell as many other older games. These games that not even people who call themselves gamers these days have never heard of or don’t want to play.

    I won’t trust Hollywood with games until they take on a real game for a project. Had anyone ever even heard of the book Fight Club before the movie? Quit getting things that are/once were popular and cashing in on them and dig for some real quality.


  28. @Rev,,,
    “games with legendary storylines wouldn’t work on the bigscreen simply because they don’t have mass appeal.”

    Mass appeal is irrelivant, most ppl won’t even know its a game, and won’t care, as long as it looks cool enough…

  29. Actually 790, if you know the “big picture” story behind Half Life 2, you would take that statement back. That whole martial law “evil draconian leader” stuff is only in the regular Half Life 2, when you get to the Orange Box with Episodes 1 and 2, you start to see that it’s much bigger than that. That guy in Half Life 2 that you defeat at the end is not even anyone “high up” in the scheme of things. He’s just one of the many human leaders/liasons appointed by the alien race behind all of this in charge of just one small city. The entire world has been taken over. They barely scratched the surface with that, Ep. 1 and 2 gives you a slightly deeper look, but I’m sure Episode III will have the crazy conclusion…

    If you like the gravity gun, you’ll love the portal gun, and it looks like chances are, the portal gun will be in Episode III… I am going to find new and creative ways of killing people for sure, lol.