Full disclaimer: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures flew me out and put me up in a hotel to see an early screening of the upcoming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and to do this interview.
They said I had 15 minutes with Jerry Bruckheimer at 3:30 pm — right before the premiere screening of this summer’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at the 2010 ShoWest conference in Las Vegas, NV. But what Hollywood wants to do and what Hollywood can do are two different things. After several reschedulings and waiting for TV interviews, photo ops, and other interviews to wrap up, I finally got to meet the famed (and busy!) movie producer around 7:30 pm.
I had a bunch of questions for Bruckheimer about his new game studio, mixing the worlds of motion pictures and electronic entertainment, and, of course, his new film based on the long-running Prince of Persia series. Only one problem: One of the publicists told me my 15 minutes would have to be five. Hey, he has Extra, People magazine, and Robin Leach waiting to talk to him still — I was amazed he was going to take time to chat with a gaming-enthusiast outlet at all.
That's a lot of pressure, conducting a full Q&A in under five minutes. But amazingly enough, that turned out to be more than enough time. I only needed one minute and 30 seconds to finish up with the most succinct guy I’ve ever interviewed….
Bitmob: So…what does Jerry Bruckheimer know about video games?
Jerry Bruckheimer: Just a little bit [smiles]. We're starting to make video games ourselves. We're working with MTV.
What do I know about television? What do I know about movies? Just go do it. You hire really talented people, and it works out.
Bitmob: What's the latest with your studio, Jerry Bruckheimer Games?
JB: We're developing some games right now. It'll be year or so before we get into the market.
Bitmob: You told Variety once that movies and games are "melding," but very rarely do we see movies based on games meet with any critical acclaim. Why do you think that is?
JB: I have no idea! It depends on the movie. If the critics are enamored with the movie, they're going to write nice things about it. If they don't like it, they're not.
It's all about storytelling. If they like our stories, they'll write good things.
Bitmob: It works the other way around, too — we don't get very many good games based on movies. Are Hollywood and the game studios just not understanding how to work together?
JB: Well, it's hard because it takes so long to develop a game. By the time you decide to make a movie, the movie can be out, before the game [is ready]. We just have to work out the synergy of how to do these things.
Bitmob: Why Prince of Persia? It's fallen off the radars of a lot of gamers in recent years. Did you anticipate it being a bigger thing?
JB: Nah, it was an interesting story — a dagger that turns back time. It was a device [that we liked].
Bitmob: Are there any game franchises you'd love to get your hands on to turn into movies?
JB: There's some stuff we're working on, but I won't say what it is because then other people will try to do it. But there are other things we're thinking about.