Are sandstorms and magic lamps going to become the next swashbuckling trend? I think it's possible. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time lurks on the horizon (and is receiving a very mixed reception) and now Variety reports that Scheherazade and her thousand and one tales are about to get a 3D makeover. Chuck Russell is set to direct a reworking of 1001 Arabian Nights from a script he co-wrote with Barry P. Ambrose. It's not clear whether this will be live action 3D or animation, but I'm guessing live action due to the emphasis on "action adventure" in the trade article.

In Russell's Arabian Nights, Scheherazade will become a damsel in distress instead of a brainy, tale-spinning bluestocking.Apparently it's a young commander who is the hero, as he joins forces with Sinbad, Aladdin, and his genie to rescue Scheherazade and her kingdom from unspecified dark forces. I see shades of Russell's The Scorpion King.

Now, I like the idea of adapting Middle Eastern tales. It's good for kids to be exposed to world cultures, and to encounter other races and religions even if it's through animation. But there are a thousand tales worth telling that are undoubtedly more exciting and interesting than something cobbled together out of the most recognizable characters. As a kid, I was always very taken with The Sisters Who Envied Their Younger Sister because it was full of magic objects and starred a princess who took matters into her own hands. But Russell's deserts are where girls aren't muscle-bound enough for adventure, though I'm sure we'll see a very scantily clad Scheherazade in 3D. Maybe 3D skin is the next trend, not Middle Eastern settings ...
categories Movies, Cinematical