Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (film)
|Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mike Newell|
|Produced by||Jerry Bruckheimer
|Screenplay by||Boaz Yakin
|Story by||Jordan Mechner|
|Based on||Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
by Ubisoft Montreal/Jordan Mechner
|Music by||Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Editing by||Mick Audsley
|Studio||Walt Disney Pictures
Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Moving Picture Company
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Running time||116 minutes|
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2010 American adventure fantasy film written by Jordan Mechner, Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard; directed by Mike Newell; produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is a retelling of the 2003 video game of the same name, developed and released by Ubisoft Montreal.
The film has the same title as the video game The Sands of Time, and is primarily based on it. Elements from Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, the two other titles from the Sands of Time trilogy of the Prince of Persia video game franchise, are also incorporated. The film received mixed reviews from critics and failed at the box office domestically, but it became the highest-grossing film based on a video game.
After witnessing an act of bravery in the marketplace of the royal city, the street urchin Dastan is adopted by King Sharaman, becoming a prince of Persia. Years later, the grown Dastan spearheads an attack on Alamut, which the king's brother Nizam has accused of selling weapons to Persia's enemies. During the battle, the city's princess Tamina is captured and Dastan acquires a strange dagger. During a banquet, Dastan gives Sharaman a cloak as a gift and after he declares Tamina Dastan's future wife the cloak apparently burns him to the touch and kills him. Dastan is framed for murder but narrowly escapes from Alamut with Tamina, evading the king's high-born sons Garsiv and Tus. After being attacked by Tamina, Dastan finds that the sands within the dagger's hilt allow him to rewind time by a minute and retain knowledge of what happened before. While going to Avrat for Sharaman's funeral, the two encounter a shady merchant called Sheik Amar, and Dastan encounters Nizam, who pretends to be sympathetic to Dastan's plight. At their meeting, Dastan sees Nizam's hands burned and realizes in horror that his uncle had murdered Sharaman. Dastan escapes from an ambush with the princess, but Nizam secretly sets a group of Hassansins, corrupted Persian warriors, on their tail, while Tus had sent the angry Garsiv and some men to find Dastan.
As they are on the run, Tamina tells Dastan about the dagger's origins: the gods had decided to sweep mankind from the earth with a great sandstorm because of their sin. But a young girl pleaded with the gods and convinced them to withhold their wrath. The sands from the storms were stored in a great hollow crystal called the Sandglass, with the dagger, called the Dagger of Time, being the only thing that could break the crystal. The Sandglass was hidden beneath Alamut with Tamina's family, descended from the young girl who saved mankind, as its guardians. It is shown that Nizam orchestrated the siege of Alamut so he could hunt for the Sandglass and use the sands to change an event in his youth where he saved Sharaman from a lion, thereby ensuring Nizam would become king.
Seeing that the sands’ release would destroy the world, Tamina is willing to return the dagger to the place where it was given, giving her life in the process. They reach the dagger's resting place in the Hindu Kush, after being captured by Sheik Amar, but are ambushed by soldiers under the command of Garsiv. Dastan manages to convince Garsiv of his innocence, but the Hassansins attack, take the dagger from Tamina and kill Garsiv. Together with Sheik Amar, his Umbakan guardian Seso and his retinue, Dastan and Tamina head back to Alamut. After retaking the dagger from a Hassansin, who had promptly ended Seso's life, Dastan uses it on himself in front of Tus, showing him the power of the dagger and his own innocence. But Nizam arrives, kills Tus and takes the dagger, leaving Dastan to die. Tamina saves him and they go down into the catacombs of Alamut.
After confronting and defeating Zolm, the Hassansin leader, Dastan and Tamina arrive in the chamber of the Sandglass as Nizam stabs it, starting the release of the sands. When they reach him, Nizam attacks them, and Tamina, who has grown to love the prince, sacrifices herself to give Dastan his chance. Dastan manages to remove the dagger from the Sandglass, preventing the apocalypse, then time is rewound to just after the siege of Alamut, undoing all the events he has lived through. Dastan manages to find his brothers and expose Nizam of his treachery, who attacks Dastan in a rage and is soon killed by Tus.
As an apology for the ransacking of her city, Tus suggests that Dastan and Tamina are married as a goodwill pact. As they converse afterwords, Dastan hints at his knowledge of the dagger’s power and says he looks forward to their future together.
- Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan
- William Foster as young Dastan
- Gemma Arterton as Tamina
- Ben Kingsley as Nizam
- Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar
- Steve Toussaint as Seso
- Toby Kebbell as Garsiv
- Richard Coyle as Tus
- Ronald Pickup as King Sharaman
- Reece Ritchie as Bis
- Gísli Örn Garðarsson as Hassansin Leader
In March 2004, the production company Jerry Bruckheimer Films sought to acquire feature film rights to the 2003 video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time with the film to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Under John August as executive producer, the series' creator Jordan Mechner was hired to write the script. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer's Pirates of the Caribbean film trilogy served as a touchstone in how a theme park ride was converted into a film franchise. According to Mechner, "Rather than do a straight beat-for-beat adaptation of the new videogame, we're taking some cool elements from the game and using them to craft a new story." Mechner previously considered producing an animated film based on the games, but could not resist Disney and Bruckheimer's offer. In February 2006, Disney hired screenwriter Jeffrey Nachmanoff to write a new script for Prince of Persia.
Early in 2007, Disney announced Rahul the Prince as one of its tentpole films and by June had scheduled a release date for July 10, 2009, before having a final script or any actors attached. By November 2007, Disney entered negotiations with Mike Newell to direct the film based on a script by Mechner and Nachmanoff, though the studio held off production until the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike was resolved. Newell was fond of Bruckheimer's films, and loved the "exciting and immensely romantic" script, which reminded him of Lost Horizon. His assistant played the video games and gave the director key details. Mechner, in writing the script, re-conceived the storyline to shift the perspective from the interactive one experienced by video gamers to the non-interactive experience by film audiences. The screenwriter left out elements of the Prince of Persia video games Warrior Within and The Two Thrones and did not anticipate including these elements in the film's possible sequels.
When filming began, the film's release date was postponed to May 28, 2010, with the studio seeking enough time for the post-production process in designing the film's special effects. The profit margin on the Pirates of the Caribbean films was compromised by overspending as special effects teams rushed to complete the films for their release dates. Variety also ascribed the postponement to avoiding the potential 2008 Screen Actors Guild strike so the studio could ensure that the film leads to a "mega-franchise" similar to its successful Pirates of the Caribbean series. Other reasons for the release date change were that the film was originally scheduled a week before Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Disney needed more time to co-ordinate its marketing campaign. Gyllenhaal claims he "over-prepared" for the role, gaining five or six pounds of muscle. The actor says, "I never knew how much they were going to ask me to do, so I just made sure I'd be hopefully able to do anything." Gemma Arterton was announced to play the role of protagonist Tamina, and Arterton reported she practiced horse back riding in Madrid before filming. Ben Kingsley was to portray the film's antagonist, Nizam. Alfred Molina was to portray a character named Sheik Amar, who becomes a mentor to the prince. Toby Kebbell was to play Prince Garsiv, Dastan's brother and head of the Persian army. Richard Coyle was cast as the eldest brother Crown prince Tus and William Foster was cast as young Dastan based on his experience in parkour. The leading characters of the film all speak with recognisably English accents.
In March 2008, director Newell selected Morocco as a shooting location for Prince of Persia and also planned to film in Pinewood Studios. Production was scheduled to begin in mid-June 2008. By May 2008, actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton were cast into the lead roles. With a new script by Jordan Mechner, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, and Boaz Yakin, filming began in July 2008 in Morocco as well as London. Eight weeks were spent in Morocco before the first unit moved to Pinewood. Unlike other Disney films being made at the time, filming was not done in three dimensions, nor was the film converted into 3-D during post production.
|Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time|
|Soundtrack album by Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Released||May 17, 2010|
|Label||Walt Disney Records|
|Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Soundtrack|
|1.||"The Prince of Persia"||5:20|
|2.||"Raid on Alamut"||6:32|
|4.||"The King and His Sons"||2:59|
|5.||"Dastan and Tamina Escape"||4:31|
|6.||"Journey Through the Desert"||2:55|
|8.||"Running from Sheikh Amar [sic]"||3:27|
|10.||"Visions of Death"||1:46|
|11.||"So, You're Going to Help Me?"||2:20|
|12.||"The Oasis Ambush"||1:54|
|14.||"Return to Alamut"||3:05|
|15.||"No Ordinary Dagger"||4:39|
|17.||"The Sands of Time"||3:58|
|19.||"I Remain" (performed by Alanis Morissette, written by Alanis Morissette and Mike Elizondo)||4:57|
The poster made its debut as a background prop in a 2009 Bruckheimer production, Confessions of a Shopaholic, similar to how Warner Bros. incorporated poster for various developed but never filmed projects based on their comic characters in I Am Legend. The week of Confessions of a Shopaholic’s release, Disney signed a merchandising deal with Lego for the film.
Disney released merchandise such as action figures, LEGO sets, costumes and a replica Dagger of Time. It also released a graphic novel called Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm, which will act as a prequel to the film. Also, a video game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal titled Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and was released alongside the film; however, the game's story is unrelated to the film, and instead serves as an interquel to the first two games in the Sands of Time trilogy.
Disney's marketing strategy included a step by step release of the film. Prince of Persia was released first in Europe, with its world premiere held in Westfield, London, UK on May 9 then premiered on May 19, 2010 in Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, and on May 20 in Germany. It was released on May 21 in the United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Poland, and Turkey. It was released in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines on May 27. The film was not released in the United States until May 28 to try to profit from the potentially higher audience on Memorial Day weekend. It was also released in Ghana, India, Romania and Nigeria on May 28.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released a single-disc DVD, a single-disc Blu-ray Disc, and a 3-disc Blu-ray combo-pack in the US on September 14, 2010. The DVD landed in the number one spot on the US DVD sales chart, with 664,041 units sold within the first week and 1,623,361 units in total (equal to $33,941,976) as of March 13, 2011.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time holds a 35% "rotten" rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 5/10. The critical consensus is: "It doesn't offer much in the way of substance, but Prince of Persia is a suitably entertaining swashbuckler—and a substantial improvement over most video game adaptations." Another review aggregate, Metacritic, which calculates an average rating based on reviews from mainstream critics, gave a score of 50/100. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four and wrote, "The two leads are not inspired. Jake Gyllenhaal could make the cover of a muscle mag, but he plays Dastan as if harboring Spider-Man's doubts and insecurities." Film critic David Roark of Relevant Magazine, on the other hand, gave the film a positive review and wrote: "Newell has unquestionably accomplished what he set out to do, which is ridiculous, silly and forgettable, but amusing nonetheless."
The film which, according to Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer, was supposed to be "the new Pirates of the Caribbean", debuted #3 at the U.S. box office behind Shrek Forever After and Sex and the City 2 with $30.1 million in its first 3-day weekend of release. It is the third highest opening for a video game adaptation, behind Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Pokémon: The First Movie. During Memorial Day, it surpassed Sex and the City 2 to gross $37,813,075 for the 4-day weekend and finish in second place.
Internationally, the film grossed an estimated $18 million in its first weekend (before its US release), when it opened in 19 major European countries. Prince of Persia debuted at #1 in these countries, except the United Kingdom where it lost the top spot to StreetDance 3D. A week later the film was released in the rest of the world and it grossed an estimated $61.6 million in total from 47 countries and $30.1 million in North America, becoming the leader of the worldwide box office with $91,695,259, while reaching the #1 spot in 41 of the 47 countries.
The film has ultimately earned $90,759,676 in the United States and Canada and $244,394,967 in other countries, for a total worldwide gross of $335,154,643 and has become the highest-grossing video-game adaptation ever worldwide, overtaking previous record holder Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat before it, but was not successful in the United States and failed to gross its budget there.
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- "'Prince of Persia' weaker than hoped for in foreign debut". Los Angeles Times. May 24, 2010.
- UPDATE 2-'Sex' less scintillating at box office
- "'Prince' reigns over 'Sex' and 'Shrek' worldwide". The Independent (London). May 31, 2010.
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- Official website
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at the Internet Movie Database
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at Box Office Mojo
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at Rotten Tomatoes
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at Metacritic