May 20, 2008 at 10:16 PM EDT

It may just be the worst kept secret in Hollywood but Disney has finally confirmed that Jake Gyllenhaal will be their next big-screen hero in Jerry Bruckheimer’s Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, a fantasy adventure epic based on the video game franchise. Gyllenhaal will play Dastan, a young prince of 6th Century Persia, who pairs up with Tamina, a princess to be played by new Bond girl Gemma Arterton, to prevent a nobleman from acquiring the Sands of Time — a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world. Director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) is scheduled to start filming in Morocco this July, pending an actors’ strike delay. Screenwriters on the project include Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard (The Great Raid), game creator Jordan Mechner, and Boaz Yakin (The Rookie).

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