Gyllenhaal goes blockbuster with game adaptation

Wed May 5, 2010 11:14am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - A bulked-up Jake Gyllenhaal has moved from dark, edgy roles to big budget action adventure in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," a movie that could succeed the hit "Pirates" franchise as Disney's next big thing.

While the 29-year-old, Oscar-nominated actor is being typically coy about future plans, Gyllenhaal said in an interview that he was ready to return to the role of a swashbuckling 6th century Persian prince.

Prince of Persia, based on the popular video game which first appeared in 1989, premieres in London on Sunday and hits theatres in late May.

"Of course, if there's an opportunity to do another one and people respond to it," Gyllenhaal told Reuters in an interview to promote the movie, when asked if he envisaged the film as part of a series.

"I don't think that's really on our mind. I think our mind is to get this one out. But of course, it would be an honor. If an audience asks for a sequel, then that's an honor," added the actor, who trained hard for demanding stunt and fight sequences.

The three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films to date, starring Johnny Depp, are a hard act to follow, having grossed $2.7 billion at the global box office.

Industry followers see an additional challenge in that big-screen adaptations of video games have struggled to meet expectations. Estimates of Prince of Persia's production budget range from $150-200 million.

Gyllenhaal is braced for a rough ride from followers of the Prince of Persia game series, which he played as a young boy.   Continued...

<p>Actor Jake Gyllenhaal arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood March 7, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>