Mike Newell: Prince of Persia was 'wrong'

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Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton star in this action adventure film from Disney. Set in the mystical lands of Persia, an adopted prince named Dastan (Gyllenhaal) is framed for his father’s murder and goes on the lam, taking only a princess (Arterton) and an ancient dagger with him. Eventually he realizes that the dagger has special powers in that it's able to reverse the flow of time. Together the prince and princess must work to clear Dastan's name and reveal the true identity of his father's murderer.
November 19th, 2012

Mike Newell admits his 'Prince of Persia' film was ''wrong''.

The director - best known for 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' and 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' - expressed frustration at Hollywood's obsession with CGI-filled blockbusters and big name stars, saying he fell into the same trap with his Jake Gyllenhaal-fronted fantasy flick.

He told The Telegraph newspaper: ''I think Hollywood has screwed itself - and they know it. They've said that the only way they can sell to the world is to make [blockbusters]. I've done one of them, for God's sake - 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' - which is one huge CGI sequence after another. I tried to make it like a Jerry Bruckheimer film and I was wrong; it didn't do well.''

He later backtracked, claiming it was a ''foolish'' comment to make about Hollywood and said the most important thing in a blockbuster are killer action sequences.

Mike explained: ''You don't need the actors to be fantastic in those films; you need action sequences to knock you dead. You have to think really hard about whether you change your slot as a director, and my slot is that I never want to be without quality writing.''

The filmmaker's latest film is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations', starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.

He said: ''This time I was desperate to make a 'word' work instead, something where the dialogue mattered.''

The 70-year-old added he may return to his television roots in future because he is fed up of typecasting in films.

Mike said: ''At least you don't get that awful stuff from investors - 'If you don't get Kate Winslet or Robert Pattinson or Emma Watson, don't bother knocking on my door'. They're wonderful actors, of course, but that attitude leads to a lot of typecasting, which is very frustrating.''