Fox’s The Maze Runner is one of many recent movies based on dystopian young adult fiction, including The Giver, The Hunger Games, and Divergence. When young adult Thomas (Dylan O’Brien, Teen Wolf) awakens one day, he is in a secret community known as the Glade. He has no memory of his prior life and no knowledge of the outside world; He remembers only his name. The only way out of the Glade is through the Maze. Thomas finds himself joining a group called the Runners who are trying to break out of the Maze, while evading the film’s villains, the Grievers. Together with other captives, Thomas must piece together fragmented clues to discover the purpose and origins of the world they inhabit.
Trapped inside the Glade with Thomas are Teresa (Kaya Scodelario, Moon), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Phineas and Ferb), Gally (Will Poulter, We’re the Millers), and Chuck (Blake Cooper, Prospect). Alby (Aml Ameen, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) plays the elected leader of The Gladers. Minho (Ki Hong Lee, She’s Got a Boyfriend) plays a fellow Runner who befriends Thomas.
The Maze Runner is directed by Wes Ball who previously handled visual effects for the 2010 film Beginners. Ball directs from a screenplay by Noah Oppenheim and Grant Pierce Myers. The film was shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, over the course of 42 days from May to July 2013. It was filmed on 18 acres of a 200 acre local farm. It was originally set for release for Valentine’s Day, 2014, but its release date was pushed back.
The Maze Runner is based on the first book of a trilogy by young adult fiction author James Dashner; The book was published in 2009. The two sequels are The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. Most recently Dashner released a Maze Runner prequel, The Kill Order. The original book is being re-released with a new cover paying homage to the film.
Fox has acquired the rights to The Scorch Trials and director Wes Ball announced at the San Diego Comic-Con International that he intends to direct the sequel should The Maze Runner prove to be a commercial success.
The Maze Runner is coming to theatres September 19, 2014. It has a running time of 113 minutes and is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images.