Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time original screenplay online
One of the screenwriters of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has been kind enough to release the last version of the script he worked on before it received rewrites from a number of other writers.
Jordan Mechner has released the script which John August says shows the film that he and Mechner had wanted to make back when they had first pitched the project to Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer. It'll be interesting to see how much things have changed since then.
According to Jordan Mechner he and John August pitched the idea for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer back in 2004 and August says that this was the final draft he saw before he moved on to other projects in 2005.
Here's what Mechner has to say about it on his blog:
This was the last draft I wrote, starting from the story John August and I pitched to Disney/Bruckheimer in 2004. A series of other writers took it from there: Jeff Nachmanoff, Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard, in that order, resulting in the shooting script that went into production in summer 2008. (And yes, it's normal for this many writers to work on a script.)
Meanwhile John August, who also pitched the idea and helped develop the story, reveals some more interesting bits of information about this draft on his own site, which is a superb read for anyone interested in the film industry.
I didn't do any real writing on PoP - my hands never touched the keyboard - but I worked with Jordan extensively on the pitch, outline and first few drafts of the project. My involvement essentially ceased after this 2005 draft...
...You'll notice many story and structural changes between this draft and the finished film. One of the biggest is in the opening: the movie adds backstory setting up Dastan as a fair-minded orphan adopted by the king. I prefer the original, which let him be the reckless gambler with no real responsibility, since he was third in line to the throne.
It's the difference between Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, and sets a very different tone for the story.
Now that alone has me interested enough to get into the script and just see what sort of a different feel it has.
The screenplay is available for anyone to download and read, and I've done just that, but before I get the chance to read it I thought I would let you have a chance to grab it too.