The rumors regarding actors in serious competition to play the title character in Disney’s upcoming Prince of Persia video game adaptation have been eccentric and entertaining, but not very reliable. They’ve ranged from the recently debunked Orlando Bloom story to the casting report that suggested that worldwide audiences would like to see real-life Persian prince David K. Zandi in the role.
Now it’s Jake Gyllenhaal’s time to churn the rumor mill. Latino Review pegs him as the latest recipient of an offer from Disney and Mike Newell. Cinematical talked to Disney and got a “we can’t confirm or deny” which, in standard internet fashion, is being considered as good as a nod in the affirmative.
As anyone who’s played the acrobatics-heavy games would hope, the role is expected to be a highly physical one. Script reports suggest a heavy dose of parkour, which sounds about right. Casting doubt on the story in Gyllenhaal’s recent ankle injury, which could hamper the summer start date.
Of all the recent and upcoming video game adaptations, Prince of Persia is the one with the most crossover potential. It’s a broad, accessible and possibly even old-fashioned (in concept, at least) story that doesn’t rely on guns or horror. If (if!)Newell and Disney get it right, they could have something that approximates another Pirates of the Caribbean, and this time there’s enough of a preexisting story arc that a trilogy, should returns support it, wouldn’t be out of the question. Granted, some of that existing story is terrible, not to mention hated by Prince creator and executive producer Jordan Mechner, but that still makes it a sight better than most of the Pirates series.
We don’t know yet if this would be a one-picture deal with options, or if Disney’s going to plan for the future with a multi-picture deal.