Several sites have reported that Disney has picked July 10, 2009 as the release date for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. My guess is that this got written on a whiteboard at some strategic planning meeting, in answer to the question, “Hey, if we made that Prince of Persia movie, when would we release it?”

It’s a perfectly good date, but I have no idea if there will be a movie to show. I don’t know if it’s getting made, or who’s directing, or who’s starring. No one knows, not even the people signing the checks. It’s still a project in development.

At this point, it’s fair to ask, “Hey John! Aren’t you executive producing Prince of Persia? Shouldn’t you be providing us readers with all the inside scoop?”

I’ll pass, thanks.

In fact, this is the last I’ll mention of Prince of Persia. Every time I bring it up, I get besieged with headshots from would-be princes, and re-ignite the debate about ancient ethnicity, a subject I have no particular interest or authority to address. The downside of making myself accessible is that people feel entitled to share their opinions, repeatedly and sometimes impolitely. I can handle that for one of my movies. But this is not my movie to make, and it’s not my movie to explain or defend.

I hope it gets made. I hope it’s terrific. I am basically an ocean of hope. But whatever happens, Prince of Persia will never be “my movie” the way Go, Big Fish, or The Nines are. I enjoyed babysittting the prince, but he’s not my kid. I’ll leave it to the real parents to speak for him.