Actor to star in 'Persia' videogame adaptation

Disney has crowned Jake Gyllenhaal for its “Prince of Persia.”

The Mouse has tapped the thesp to topline Jerry Bruckheimer’s big-budget adaptation of Ubisoft’s hit fantasy actioner, which the producer and Disney hope to turn into a follow-up franchise to “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Gemma Arterton has been cast as the female lead in “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” She next appears in the James Bond outing “Quantum of Solace,” which unspools in November.

Production on “Persia” starts in July in Morocco and London, with Mike Newell (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”) lensing from a script by Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard, Boaz Yakin and the game’s creator, Jordan Mechner.

Studio’s set to release the pic as a summer tentpole next year.

Gyllenhaal will play Dastan, a prince in sixth-century Persia who must join forces with Tamina (Arterton), a feisty and exotic princess, to prevent a villainous nobleman from possessing the Sands of Time, a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.

“Persia” will mark the first time Gyllenhaal has worked with Bruckheimer.

“He’s a wonderful actor,” Bruckheimer said. “He’s someone I’ve been watching for a long time and somebody I’ve always wanted to work with.”

Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Mike Stenson, Chad Oman and Patrick McCormick will exec produce.

“Prince of Persia” has become a lucrative franchise for gamemaker Ubisoft, which released the first title in 1989. It’s spawned six sequels and numerous spinoffs for various vidgame consoles over the years. The latest title hits store shelves later this year.

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