Jake Gyllenhaal, the actor who ventured into challenging roles in films such as Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain, has just signed up to play the Prince of Persia in a movie based on the popular video game.

The film is to be set in 6th Century Persia, where Gyllenhall will play the prince, Dastan, while the role of princess Tamina is to be played by Gemma Arterton.

Together, the pair must take on an evil nobleman who is determined to possess the Sands of Time.

Mike Newell (who made Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Four Weddings and a Funeral, amongst other things) will direct the film, and the script has been written by Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard and Boaz Yakin together with POP creator Jordan Mechner.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer would not reveal the budget for the film but did say, "It's not one of our smaller productions".

Filming will begin in Morocco and England this June, and the movie is pencilled in for a 2009 release.