Excuses are the stuff of life. “It must have hit my spam folder” and “but I thought I was wearing a condom” are lines that make the world go round.

So it’s no big deal that you know it’s a load of crap when Disney claims that Prince of Persia is being delayed to Memorial Day 2010 to allow more time for post-production work. Peeking at the calendar we can all easily see that the original release date of June 19, 2009 would have put the picture in direct competition with Transformers 2, which opens a week later. That begs the question of why Disney ever hoped to hold that date in the first place, but this move (which could also be taking potential SAG issues into account) is probably a vote of confidence for the film. The studio didn’t dump it — Memorial Day is prime real estate on the calendar — and even though the Prince will be going up against Shrek 4 in this new berth it should still be able to perform like a champ.

Mike Newell just started shooting Prince in Morocco, so if nothing else the move does actually mean that he’ll have plenty of time to work on the post-production side. Hopefully this breathing room will make Prince of Persia a far cry from the cap to Disney’s last summer franchise, the fetid Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. In the meantime, the hardcore fans have a new game coming from UbiSoft this fall to keep the franchise fresh, but it introduces a new AI-controlled partner character and looks like a serious departure from both Jordan Mechner’s original and the great reinvention that forms the basis for the film.