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These Maze Runner: Scorch Trials Photos Show Off The World Outside Of The Maze

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The Maze Runner Scorch TrialsWhile The Hunger Games obviously rules the young adult dystopia landscape, 2014 saw a surprising runner up: The Maze Runner. Also based on a best-selling series of YA novels, these ones by James Dashner, it’s a relatively low-budget affair that managed to gather unexpectedly good reviews and earn more money overall than Hunger Games heir apparent Divergent. 20th Century Fox wasted no time in green lighting the sequel, The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, which drops later this year, and now we’ve got our first look at the teen-centric adventure.

Using Entertainment Weekly and People to disseminate, the studio has unveiled a handful of new stills from the upcoming film, and they definitely play up the action angle. Reading the book, I didn’t think much of it, but it was one of those instances where you could easily envision the translation from page to screen resulting in a fun, adventurous movie, which is certainly the case here.

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2014’s Best Sci-Fi Movies: Brent’s Picks

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EverythingGuardiansTicket sales at the box office may have been at a 20-year low in 2014, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything worth seeing. I’m a firm believer that, no matter the state of the industry, there will always be people making exciting, interesting films, you just might have to look for them. Regardless of what this means for studios and their bottom lines, sci-fi fans had a lot to dig into over the past year. There were huge, spectacle style blockbusters right along side quiet, introspective independent features more concerned with ideas than eye candy, as well as everything in between. There are a few gaps in my genre viewing for the year—I still have yet to watch titles like Young Ones, The Zero Theorem, and Under the Skin for some reason—but in this spirit, here are my top sci-fi movies of 2014.

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How The Maze Runner Made Those Grievers, Plus Scorch Trials Adds This Actress

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The success of The Maze Runner took some people by surprise. Despite the popularity of James Dashner’s series of young adult novels, many expected just another tepid entry into the teen dystopia market that would fall by the wayside, especially after the release was pushed back more than six months. Part of what makes the movie work as well as it does are the special effects, which were handled on a small budget, at least for this kind of picture, and this featurette digs into two aspects of this: the maze itself, and the monsters, called Grievers. And with profitability, comes a franchise, and the first follow up, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, continues to add strong actors to the ever growing cast.

Reading the book, it has a unique hook, but I admittedly didn’t think much of the writing characterization. What it does well, however, is pacing and action, two things that translate to a movie screen, and it’s one of those stories that is tailor made for an adaptation. Director Wes Ball, working with limited resources, shot as much as he could practically, but given the size and scope of the setting and story, that just wasn’t possible.

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The Martian And The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials Add These Impressive Actors

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chiwetel-ejiofor-With so many sci-fi films in production, there are a lot of roles to be cast, and a couple of high-profile projects have been adding to their already large ensembles. Just when you think the cast of Ridley Scott’s The Martian can’t get any more impressive, it adds a handful of new names. And next time around, The Maze Runner will feature more than one lone, underwritten female character, as the sequel Scorch Trials has added a Game of Thrones star in a key position.

EW reports that Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) and Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) are joining the massive cast of The Martian. Reportedly Scott’s next film, before he embarks on either Prometheus 2 or Blade Runner 2, the cast already includes damn near everyone in Hollywood. Those three alone would be a major casting coup, but they join the likes of Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Donald Glover, Michael Pena, Mackenzie Davis, and Jeff Daniels, who are already in place. It’s an embarrassment of riches over there, and it will be interesting to see how they make use of all of this talent.

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Saturday Night Live Hilariously Spoofs YA Dystopian Thrillers

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I find Saturday Night Live amusing about as often as I find million-dollar checks inside my pockets, but this weekend saw the cast and guest host Bill Hader perform a superb send-up of the entire dystopian YA film genre. Granted, none of the jokes and jabs were spotless examples of genius, but it’s easy to keep things goofily generic when The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner are two of the biggest comedic targets. This is The Group Hopper, and he’s about to start hopping from group to group.

In the faux trailer seen above, comedian Pete Davidson plays a knock off of The Maze Runner‘s Thomas, riding in an elevator to Gray World, a metal field surrounded by walls which are themselves surrounded by death fires. The greatest part of this trailer is the abundance of world-specific slang terms. Such as when the one guy tells the main guy that the field is where “the sameys stay until the groupers pass them on to the sorties for sorting.” Plus, you can only kill a lurkie with a zoomerang. But who are we to say that the future won’t indeed introduce useless new words to the post-apocalyptic lexicon?

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This Is How The Maze Runner Should Have Ended, With A Singing Griever

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As far as modestly budgeted YA sci-fi goes, Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner was a surprisingly exciting trip into a secluded and mysterious world. Still, it wasn’t perfect, and by the time the credits rolled, the curious part of the brain immediately went to work picking apart the most thinly conceived bits of the film. The following video created by the guys at How It Should Have Ended delves into an easy fix to make The Maze Runner a much shorter film. Obviously some SPOILERS abound.