I know I'm relatively alone on this, but my favorite Harry Potter movie is Goblet of Fire, which was directed by Mike Newell. I thought Newell, who also gave us Four Weddings and a Funeral and Enchanted April, got a lot of great stuff out of the cast and also seemed to inject a Britishness that I felt was missing from the series. Now, I'm not sure if either character development or Anglo-ization is something needed in an adaptation of the video game Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, but I'm still happy to see that Newell could be hired to direct the movie. According to Variety, Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney have offered Newell the project, which is expected to spawn a new franchise for the producer and studio -- likely as a replacement for the maybe-done Pirates of the Caribbean series. The Prince of Persia script has been written by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow) and had earlier been offered to blockbuster director Michael Bay.

I probably know the least about video games than anyone (I only like playing Rampage at my favorite arcade-bar), and Wikipedia's detail of the storyline of Prince of Persia makes my head spin. So, all I can really tell you about the story is that it involves an ancient Persian prince, a "Dagger of Time" that allows the prince to control time, and some undead creatures made of sand. Hopefully a game-playing reader can give a more concise plot description in the comments. It sounds a little more action-packed than Newell is used to, and I suspect many fans of the games will be skeptical of his ability to handle the material. I think I like Newell more than most people -- though I couldn't bring myself to watch Mona Lisa Smile -- and I look forward to seeing what he does with it. I'm still anxious to see his upcoming adaptation of Love in the Time of Cholera (out 11/16), despite the few bad reviews I've seen, and I really wish he'd be called back for the final Potter movie.