EW: This is Hollywood, so you've probably had to come to terms early on that there would be some liberties taken with the source material. What's the number one thing about Prince of Persia that you, as its creator, feel shouldn't be changed or compromised under any circumstances?
Mechner: This goes all the way back to the original 1989 game: somewhere in the story, there has to be an hourglass.
EW: In a paper about game design you wrote a few years ago, you said that while the storyline is king in movies, it should always be subordinate to action and gameplay in videogames. What's the rule for videogame-based Hollywood blockbuster films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer? Story seems to have the clear disadvantage here…
Mechner: For a movie, it's all about the story. No matter how spectacular, the action is only gripping if it's happening to characters we care about. Otherwise, in the midst of all the Dolby fireworks and exploding horses, we'll start to get that restless feeling... you know, wishing we had our ten bucks back and that we were back home playing a video game.
A couple of new/old set photos from Morocco:
ETA: Some new old photos from IHJ. First up, an outtake from one of my least favorite Jake photoshoots ever.
God bless Dustin Hoffman!
It's like a family generations portrait gone wrong!
(Photos courtesy of IHJ, flickr/albertstoter and flickr/petravangrieken.)