The King-of-Action is back with Disney’s new video-game turned summer blockbuster, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Sir Ben Kingsley. If there’s one thing that Jerry Bruckheimer knows how to do is set up a landscape for destruction. He’s like a kid who now gets to recreate his fantasies with life sized toys.
The thing that has always impresses me about Bruckheimer is how calm and cool he is during interviews. You know the guy is one of the top producer’s in Hollywood who is known for making things explode, and yet he always wants to talk about story and actors. The man is definitely a pro at promotions. Check out how he topped himself once again with Prince of Persia and how he thinks he’ll be able to break the video-game turned movie curse below…
(Note: We had a chance to attend a video conference with Bruckheimer while he was in London. You can read some of the highlights of the interview or watch the entire video of the interview below.)
Has Prince of Persia raised the visual effects bar? You’ve obviously done a lot of VFX heavy movies. Has this kind of raised the bar in terms of your film making?
Jerry Bruckheimer: Well I think you know, every time we approach a movie the computer graphics and power becomes stronger and doubles and triples. So we can do a lot more things that we couldn’t do in the past. And it’s easier to do and fortunately gets a little cheaper. So you know, there are more artists that we joining that field and, and we’re getting better computer graphics because more talented people are doing it.
How do you start and approach a video adaptation and turn it into a full fledged half and a half long movie?
Jerry Bruckheimer: Well it’s, it all comes from story and character and Jordan Mechner who, you know, created the game came in and pitched his story that we were intrigued with. He wrote the first screenplay and then we brought in some of our big Hollywood writers to come in and embellish the characters and the plot. So you start from the basic idea of, of the game.
Many people dismiss adaptations when they stray too far from the source material whether it’s books, video games, classic films or comics. How do you respond to those critics when they kind of don’t judge it on the merits of that actual movie?
Jerry Bruckheimer: Well you know, I think what you have to do is you have to try to take what’s best out of the game or the book and, and try to work with that. And also you know, you know novels you know, go on for a long time and we try to make movies under two hours. So sometimes you have to cut things out which is unfortunate.
Can you talk about choosing Mike Newell to direct this film. It’s so large in scope and has such a massive tone to it, and what was it about Newell that assured you that he’s going to be the man for the job?
Jerry Bruckheimer: Well when you look at his previous work you know, when you hire a director and it was not a first time director, you get to see their films. So from Donnie Brasco he showed he can do realism. We wanted the movie to have some realism to it. Then, then you saw Four Weddings and a Funeral and he had humor. You can tell he, he can handle actors and, and find funny things for them. And then when you see the Harry Potter film he did he had, he could understood fantasy. So the combination of humor, fantasy and realism is exactly what we were looking for.
How difficult was the sand of time effect to pull off and did you have a lot of debate where to use it and how to use it?
Jerry Bruckheimer: You’re absolutely right. There was a lot of debate. You know, how many times do you use it? How do you do it? It took us months and months and months to come up with the right dynamics for and the right design for it. We, we went through a lot of different designs, a lot of different visual artists worked on it and a lot of illustrators worked on it. So we finally got something we’re very comfortable with that Mike really loved.
Full video interview…
Check out Prince of Persia in theaters May 28th!