Teen-centric dystopian sci-fi is big business. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the highest grossing film of 2013, and Divergent got in on the act earlier this year. The next entry into this arena, coming up in September, is Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner, an adaptation of James Dashner’s novel of the same name. Similar in tone and theme to the others, it hopes to bring enough unique elements to the table to attract both fans of the other films as well as a new audience. The film screened at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, revealing a new poster, and now there is a fresh trailer to go along with all of that.
This video breaks down the plot and lays out the story, and actually borders on revealing too much. I get the impulse to do whatever you can to get people interested in your movie, but you need to save something. Dashner’s book is one of those that you read, and though it’s not particularly good as a novel—the writing is not excellent—you can see it making a really fun movie, and that’s exactly what The Maze Runner looks like. There’s action and peril and mystery and monsters lurking in the shadows, what more do you need?
The story begins when Thomas (Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in a dark elevator. When the doors open he finds himself in a place called the Glade, which is enclosed by wall high walls that open every morning revealing an elaborate, ever changing maze. The only residents are teenage boys who can’t remember who they are, where they came from, or who sent them to this place. The maze is infested with sinister monsters called Grievers, and there’s a serious Lord of the Flies thing going on, and the situation only gets worse. First, a girl, Kaya Scodelario’s Teresa, shows up, which has never happened, then all kinds of thing start going haywire, forcing the Gladers to step up their game when it comes to finding a way out of their prison.
The Maze Runner screened at Comic-Con over the weekend, and the reactions were overwhelmingly positive. Granted, the theater was packed with already extant fans, so they’re going to be biased. Still, one of the things many adaptations of popular books, or comics for that matter, often fail to do is capture the preexisting fan base. If Ball and company can get them on board, that’s one huge step. Now all they need to do is get people who’ve never heard of this on board and they’re golden.
The Maze Runner also stars Will Pouter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Ami Ameen, Blake Cooper, and more, and opens September 19.