Prince of Persia Pre-Production Takes Off


Darius Kadivar
by Darius Kadivar

Pre-Production on « Prince of Persia:Sands of Time » Takes Off in Morocco as Casting Remains Unknown …

After many rumors and counter rumors about the very first movie adaptation of the popular Computer Game Prince of Persia, it seems that Bloc Buster Producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean,Pearl Harbor) and the Computer Games creator’s have reached a deal with the British director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Adventure Mike Newell who will be shooting the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” in Morocco in a co-production with Disney. The Epic project is a live-action feature based on the videogame and based on a script by Jeffrey Nachmanoff ("The Day After Tomorrow") and the videogame’s major creator Jordan Mechner. The videogame spawned six installments and numerous spin-offs, boosting Disney execs’ hopes for a lucrative new tentpole. The Choice of Morocco as a shooting location (Instead of Iran once known as Persia) will be a boost for the North African country’s film biz. The director of the epic movie Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven Ridley Scott’s “Body of Lies” and Paul Greengrass’ untitled Iraq war thriller both recently wrapped significant shoots there. “Producers are always looking for cheap places to shoot and Morocco is one of them,” said Dune Films’ Jimmy Abounouom (*), who is repping the Moroccan shoot for Disney. Dune execs previously handled the Moroccan shoots of Mike Nichols film Charlie Wilson’s War” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts ( supposed to be set in Soviet War Torn Afghanistan of the 1980’s) and Kimberly Peirce’s “Stop-Loss.”

“Prince of Persia” will also lens in Blighty’s Pinewood Shepperton studios (**). Project is in pre-production. Abounouom told Variety he expects the Moroccan section of the shoot to start in mid-June, labor wrangles notwithstanding.

Sorry Folks, but I am afraid that little if nothing about the Prince of Persia movie no more than the Computer game will be truly based on any historical accuracy or research. Hollywood’s vision of Persia is alas quite distorted and dissolved in an imaginary Orient that appears more like a patchwork between India and the Arabian Peninsula and where the city of Baghdad often substitutes Isfahan ( capital of Persia under Safavid rule) as Capital of Persia. Are we as Persians/Iranians Screwed once again as we were in the Warner Epic “300” that created a rare outrage from the Iranian community both in and outside Iran ? Not really because the Persian Prince is the “hero” and positive role model of the piece and of the popular action packed computer game: A cross between Lara Croft and Sinbad. There is not much in common between this prince and us fellow mortals ( Persian or Not) than there is between Harry Potter and English school kids. What we should hope for at best is that the film will be the first of a just as an exciting series as the Harry Potter films have proved to be to date. If frustration there is, it will be less about the Aesthetics of the movie but the fact that probably no Iranian film Star will be cast in the Role of the Persian Prince or any other characters in the film. Not that ethnicity or exact location shooting is important on film when in fact any actor should (and often can) portray a character who is very different from himself or herself as well as any film lot can substitute to a landscape or scenery that fits the film’s needs ( After all David Lean Recreated Russia in Spain in Dr. Zhivago (who in turn was played by an Egyptian: Omar Sharif )). But well I guess It would be good to see a minimum of authenticity albeit in would be accents or physical characteristics. After all Even Harry Potter’s School of Sorcerers looks like Oxford or Cambridge. Well, who Knows ? In the Empire of Dreams Everything is Possible, Even in … Persia!



Authors Notes:

Article Reproduced from Payvand ( see extra documents)

(*) Official Website of Moroccan film Company Dunes Films ( The Mummy, The Mummy Returns)

(**) Official Website of The Legendary British PineWood Studio’s where many James Bond and Harry Potter films are shot, remains a reference of craftsmanship in the motion Pictures industry.

Recommended Viewing: Mike Newell speaks about his deep interest in directing Prince of Persia: Sands of Time ( which has been confirmed since): See Video

Recommended Reading:

Persia? Ancient Persia’s Virtual Absence in Hollywood by Darius KADIVAR

The Persian Empire Strikes Back! by Darius KADIVAR

more from Darius Kadivar
Bahram the Iranian

I guess that(dying hair and

by Bahram the Iranian on

I guess that(dying hair and contact lenses)is what iranian women do, we should excuse them, it is their nature "keep trying making themselves cutter and more presentable. some where in some jewish magazine(maybe jpost)I read that Hitler was totaly wrong about the ayran race , the aryans dont have blue eyes and blond hair the germans are from white european stack, I dont realy know if we or maybe I should say me(from central Iran)so called persians fall into aryan race category. I cant care less however I m sure about 2 things first I am Iranian 2 I m muslim and proud of both


Delirium Tremens!

by Kamangir on

Comments here were not intended to be racist, simply because some of us want the powerful filmmaking companies to be be more accurate and fair when portrayting Iranians and Persians. Sometimes, when they are accurate, they are damned (Not without my daughter film, for instance..)  

To some, the name of Persia, has to do with unjustly acquired wealth, corruption and rascism (IRI propaganda) this leads to some individuals who are usually prone to slamic chracters, to choose names or nicknames such as 'Anti-Aryan Mongrel Boy'

Wondering who has reffered to aryans here, anyways? Contact lenses? dying hair?

Look who ends up talking about 'dementia' and 'freaks'.  







Same old Iranian racist

by Anti-Aryan Mongrel Boy (not verified) on

Same old Iranian racist dementia. Thanks for the info in any case Mr. Kadivar. It's only a shame that your benign post has to be turned into a freak race war by the rants of self-loathing mongrels - not that being a mongrel is a bad thing - in fact it is the only truth and it is the notion of purity that is the pernicious and dangerous myth propagated by so many deluded Iranians who hate themselves and where they come from so much that they dye their hair blond, purchase expensive blue contact lenses and never stop telling themselves they are the purest of the pure Aryan race. Pathetic and tragic.

Bahram the Iranian


by Bahram the Iranian on

I am sure you heard about it, few years ago a iranian-biritish doctor went to iran and statred collecting dna, different region and pepole were picked randomly.His experiment cocluded that most iranian iranians have a same basic pattern in their dna, except kurds(yes I was suprised too) whose dna is more like arabs dna. Iranians have a distinct dna and that tells us we arenot only a nation but also we are from the same race.if today I dare to call myself persian and if there is supposed to be a movie featuring persian history or culture I expect to see the pepole in the movie look like myself.The evolution of human is large field of science and I mnt qualified to talk about it, however I know how the pepole look like in Iran today as we speak, some of them indeed look like Ahmaednejad who is from a village near Tehran which in today's terms make him absouletly persian.He may be a religious musilm man but he hasnt written off any iranian land to arabs like the ex-monarchy who told Cyrus to sleep thight so he could donate the island of Bahrian to dessert dwellers(badoes,the worst kind of arabs)or lend money to another one, king houssien who ha the first shoot in iran-iraq war, guess what we havent been able to recover that money yet because of the lack of any documentation of the loan and at the last not the least our persian king had appointed an arab as prime minster Mr Hoveda whose according to saddam spoke arabic much better than parsi.yeah human evolution as i said is very complicate but digging out the recent history of iran shouldnt be that hard.It isnt the talk that matters It is the deed, to me one iranian patriot is the one that call for return of island of Bahrian to real owners not the one that are sitting in LA and get paid by sauadis(read the book by reza pahlavi' cusine) and call themselves persian. twisting the history!!!everybody do that. 


Re: Bahram the Iranian

by Kamangir on

Dear Bahram

The expression 'arabized Iranians or Persians' is not a paranoia. In some hollywood films such as 'Alexander' many Persian characters could in fact be individuals from different arab or North African lands. When going back to pre-islamic Persia, Persians themselves weren'r ethnically different from Greeks or Romans, it was only after the sad arabic invasion and consequent colonization of Persia by the Arabs when the ethnic and racial pattern of Iran changed as many Arabic tribes were relocated and stablished all over Iran, in order to minimize the fierce Persian resistance. Therefore; nowadays what you have in Iran is the result of a deep racial mixings between the moghols/arabs and the Persians and others. Ferdowsi makes clear reference to this when he says:

Ze Irano Torkano (moghols) Tazian (Arabs)

nejadi padid ayad dar mian

Na dehghano torko tazi bowad

Sokhanan be kerdare bazi Bowad.

When making films about ancient Persians, Hollywood had relied on very arab looking characters (like ahmadinejad for instance...) whereas up until the end of the Sassanids, Persians looked like what they were: like Persians.  They wouldn't do this with the Romans or the Greek.  A film is just a fil and a commnet a made here, just a comment. However; descendants of those arabs who once brutalized Persia, are still vandalizing it nowadays... and that's not a paranoia. The current arabization of Iran by the IRI is a fact.



Bahram the Iranian

arabizied persian???!!!!!

by Bahram the Iranian on

could you pls describe one ?possibly in detail and with a pic

what a paranoia?



by ORIENTALISM! (not verified) on

Prince of Persia = The quintessential ORIENTALIST project.

The late Dr. Edward Said would have had a field day crushing it.


Cyrus the Great film!

by Kamangir on

I think that the location where the film is made at is not very mportant as long as it has similarities with Iran itself, and most likely Morocco does offer this. On the other hand, however; I hope that the Persian 'prince' or the actor portarying it does look Persian, and not an arabizied Persian. As pointed out by the writer of the article, since the character is a hero, chances are it's better treated than other Persians in hollywood films.

Since year 2003 I'm waiting for the development of the film 'Cyrus the Geat' by the British irector Alex Jovy. This is supposed to be the most expensive inependant British film casting Angelica Jolie and Sean Connrey among others. I think the director had a very hard time gathering the 50.000.000 BP needed for this and I kind of wonder which stage the film (or the proect) the film is at. At an interview , Alex Jovy mentioned that the film would need to be very accurate historically as well as sofisticated in terms of special effects. Smethin between the Lawrence of Arabia and Gadiator, he pointed out...