Every major movie studio wants to find the next Hunger Games, the next Twilight, the next Harry Potter. Practically every series of young adult novels on the market—and some that haven’t even hit yet—are being snatched up and greenlit in the hopes of finding the next big thing. Twentieth Century Fox is banking that an adaptation of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner books will be the franchise of their dreams, and now they have unleashed a creepy new piece of concept art from the production.
Based on Dashner’s best selling trilogy, the story centers on Thomas (Dylan O’Brien, Teen Wolf), a teen who wakes up in a place called the Glade, with no memory of the world outside or his previous life. All any of the other young boys who live there, enclosed in high walls, know is that every 30 days, a new arrival shows up, and that every morning, the walls that surround them open up, revealing an expansive maze. The story is a little bit Lord of the Flies, a little bit Swiss Family Robinson, and a little bit Hunger Games.
Since it’s in the title and figures prominently in the plot, you can probably guess that the maze will be a pretty important part of the movie. This bit of concept art, originating at EW, shows this massive puzzle, and gives it an appropriate air of menace and scale.
These aren’t slick, new walls that we’re talking about here. This maze has been her for a while, and has the look of a something natural, like it was formed naturally rather than being something man made. The corridors loom large in the distance, covered with vines, and you can see how big they really are by the size of the crowd of boys—it’s all boys until, shock, a girl shows up in the Glade—at the base. Given that the maze is full of all sorts of dangers, known and unknown, you can understand the reluctance of the boys hanging out at the back of the pack.
The Maze Runner is slated to begin filming on Monday, and this picture was created by first-time director Wes Ball to use as inspiration. The film is already scheduled to hit theaters February 14, 2014, so the clock is ticking on Ball and company.