For six years, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time reigned supreme as the highest-grossing video game movie in history after earning $336 million at the box office when it was released, even though many people have probably forgotten that it even existed. At the time, it seemed like a pretty blatant move on Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s part to transplant the formula that worked so well for Pirates of the Caribbean to another setting and hope for the same results, because that’s pretty much exactly what it was.
Unfortunately for them, accusations of whitewashing the vast majority of the Middle Eastern roles in the cast didn’t generate too much positive publicity for Prince of Persia, and reviews weren’t exactly kind, either, with the end product turning out to be so underwhelming that leading man Jake Gyllenhaal swore off starring in studio blockbusters for almost a decade.
With a budget rumored to be as high as $200 million, the huge marketing spend for the summer flick resulted in The Sands of Time making a loss for Disney, even though it became the biggest hit the video game genre had ever seen. However, with the studio keen to monopolize every aspect of the entertainment industry, a Prince of Persia reboot is now on the way.
According to our sources – the same ones who told us that an Aladdin sequel is in the works and National Treasure 3 is in development, both of which turned out to be true – the Mouse House still like the basic concept and are keen to take another crack at a Prince of Persia movie, and hopefully make it good this time. The latest version will reportedly be more faithful to the video games, too, instead of simply aping the Pirates of the Caribbean formula again, with the studio looking to cast a Middle Eastern actor in the lead role, presumably to avoid any more whitewashing controversy.
This might sound cynical, but this seems to come suspiciously soon after the similarly-located Aladdin pulled in over a billion dollars worldwide, and we’ve even heard that Guy Ritchie is on the shortlist of potential directors for the proposed reboot. In any case, the basic concept of Prince of Persia has the potential for a great action/adventure/fantasy blockbuster if handled correctly by the right filmmaker, so let’s hope that Disney have learned from the mistakes they made the first time around.