Meet Jordan Mechner
He is the creator of Prince of Persia video games and is now one of the writers for the upcoming Disney movie.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is in full press on the publicity tours. Mechner was recently at San Francisco's WonderCon and talked about adapting the game to a full length feature film and what his role has been:
"The idea of a dagger that could turn back time was of course at the heart of both the game and the movie. That started as a gameplay idea. We thought it would be cool for the player to save himself and turn back time rather than having to die and restart from a checkpoint. The story the Sands of Time and the Dagger of Time was the story I made to justify that gameplay idea. Of course with the movie, it begins with that story."
"Both the movie and the game are about a young prince who comes into possession of this incredible dagger that can turn back time and keep it out of the hands of villains. The story I wrote originally for the game was meant for the game and is specifically tailored to be experienced by the player. It wouldn't make sense to adapt that story beat for beat as a movie because what's fun to play isn't necessarily fun to watch in a theater for 2 hours. So what I did was I pitched it to Jerry as a new story that starts out similar to the game. It has a lot of the same plot elements and the same themes, but the plot goes in a different direction."
"Most video games are successful obviously because of the gameplay, and that of course is the element that does not translate to film. The challenging thing about adapting a video game into a movie is that the movie has to stand on its own merits no matter the source material."
"My real influence on the film is as a writer. This is actually the first time a video game creator has made the transition to writing the screenplay for a film adaptation of a game. People ask, "Why not make the film faithful the game? As the game's creator, why not take the chance to do so?" My answer is if I had a screenplay and tried to make a movie with the game's story, game fans would have been disappointed. The reason why The Sands of Time story in the game works so well because it's a story told through the gameplay experience."
Mechner originally pitched the movie back in 2004 to Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney. This is his original two minute video pitch: