As regular readers of HeyUGuys will know, I am a rather large fan of movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer. I’ve been following his work with interest since 1996 when I first saw The Rock and started realising that the same man had brought me so many films that I loved up to that point including Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Crimson Tide, Bad Boys and Beverly Hills Cop. A few year passed and films such as Gone in 60 Second, Armageddon, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Remember the Titans and even Coyote Ugly were made and I loved all of them too!
In 2003, Bruckheimer teamed together with Disney to bring us Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the rest is history releasing not only the Pirates franchise but films like G-Force, Deja-Vu and National Treasure. The latest movie to be released with the Mouse House is that of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton.
We’ve been given access to this UK exclusive interview conducted on the set of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on the 3/4th November 2008. Now, 18 months has passed and Prince of Persia is is due for release May 21st and it’s now my pleasure to share it with you.
Keep your eyes peeled on HeyUGuys this week and next for further exclusive interviews and check out our competition to an advanced screening here.
Inspired by the best-selling video game series, Walt Disney Pictures and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the team behind the blockbuster franchise “Pirates of the Caribbean”, are bringing “The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” to the big screen in the Summer of 2010.
Mixing mirth with magic and plenty of action, “Prince of Persia” is the story of Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), a royal with something to prove. After being saved from a life on the streets by the King, Dastan must join forces with high priestess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) to safeguard the Sands of Time – a mystical substance which has the ability to turn back the clock. But with plenty of interested parties desperate to get their hands on the Sands and the iconic Dagger of Time, the pair must battle against the odds to work out exactly who they can trust during this quest full of twists, turns and epic adventure.
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER – PRODUCER
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is the man behind some of cinema’s biggest blockbusters. His films have received six Oscars, four Golden Globes, 17 Emmys, 15 People’s Choice Awards, two BAFTA awards, numerous MTV Awards, including one for Best Picture of the Decade for “Beverly Hills Cop” and 20 Teen Choice Awards. In addition, his TV shows such as the “CSI” series are now taking him to a completely different audience but with exactly the same levels of success.
Bruckheimer’s roll of honour includes 80s classics such as “American Gigolo” and “Flashdance” and on to “Top Gun”, “Beverly Hills Cop”, “Bad Boys”, “Con Air”, “Armageddon”, “Enemy of the State”, “Gone in 60 Seconds”, “Pearl Harbour” and of course, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy. He has worked with a who’s who of Hollywood and British acting talent and is, without doubt, the king of the blockbuster movie.
“Prince of Persia” marks an exciting new direction for him as the film is based on a computer game. And Bruckheimer himself admits that this virtual form of storytelling is next on his list for future successes.
Q: Why did you decide to make “Prince of Persia”? What attracted you to this story?
Jerry Bruckheimer: It is unusual. It is very interesting that you can have a fantasy, reality and drama. It was a good cross section.
Q: A lot of people do not see Jake Gyllenhaal as the leading man for this film. What did you see in him for the role of the Prince?
Jerry Bruckheimer: For a start he is a wonderful actor and he is very handsome. We have done this with so many actors. Will Smith in “Bad Boys”, he was seen as a comedic actor. Nicolas Cage in “Con Air”. He had always played various characters but was never an action hero until that and “The Rock”. I’m a fan of certain actors and Jake is one of them.
Q: Was there something specific about Gemma Arterton that you chose her to play Tamina as opposed to an established actress?
Jerry Bruckheimer: We tested a lot of young actresses and she was by far the most interesting. It sometimes just happens that way.
Q: The project has been in evolution for a while and the script has continually changed. Why is that and how has the movie evolved over time?
Jerry Bruckheimer: It comes down to the talent you have and who is available. We always have an A-list we want to work with and it is down to finding the most talented writers you can who are available at the time you need them. It was always going in the same trajectory but you start by getting the story to work and then you have to get the characters to work and then make sure the action is working. There are all these different layers to go through.
Q: What elements from the game have you retained for the film?
Jerry Bruckheimer: We’ve kept some of the action and the cool stuff they did with the game. We kept as many of the characters as we could. But it is like a book. You never get those as close to the film. It’s a movie, not literature. You are constantly changing things.
Q: Why are you now getting involved in making computer games?
Jerry Bruckheimer: I really believe in the next 10 years you won’t be able to tell the difference between movies and games. Games will be so realistic. They are a form of storytelling and we love to tell stories in movies and on television. We are about to actively seek some executives. Hopefully in the next six months we’ll get started.
Q: The video games have been so successful, was there a pressure at all making this movie and needing to please the fans of the series?
Jerry Bruckheimer: They are important to us and you hope they will show up but you can’t count on them as you never know. Kids who are playing the game might not be by the time the movie comes out. You try and make a film that will entertain with really interesting characters and themes. If you do that, then everybody comes. If you just rely on the gamers then you are missing a whole market out there.
Q: What excites you most about this film?
Jerry Bruckheimer: I love the casting of Jake and Gemma. I love the story. It is fascinating with a lot of different levels. And it has huge scope. The desert is spectacular and really reminds me of “Laurence of Arabia”. We have a master cinematographer and it’s great to see what he is capable of doing.
Q: What role did the “Prince of Persia” creator Jordan Mechner play in this movie?
Jerry Bruckheimer: He has been involved throughout the entire process and is very happy with it. He is a great partner on it.
Q: Why did you choose someone like Mike Newell to direct this film?
Jerry Bruckheimer: It was his body of work. It is rare to find someone who can do “Donnie Brasco” and then come back and do “Harry Potter”. He has shown he can deal with drama and big adventure and handle things that are humorous. He has a really wonderful palette. This film has to have all those different things in it.
Q: There are a lot of reminders in this movie of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, with the costumes, action and comedy. Are there similarities?
Jerry Bruckheimer: We should only be as lucky for it to do as well. It’s a different type of movie though but hopefully the same type of entertainment. There is a lot more adventure to it and a different feel. Hopefully the tone will be similar, in that we have an action movie with romance.