MTV’s supernatural drama Teen Wolf returns for a third season this summer, and returning with it is Dylan O’Brien, who plays the best friend of the series’ central character, Scott (Tyler Posey), an unlucky teen who finds himself cursed with super-powers, great hair and intermittent transmogrification after being bitten by literal Alpha male, Derek (Tyler Hoechin). O’Brien’s character, Stiles, is charged with supporting his friend through the difficulties of adolescent werewolfhood.

O’Brien is now planning to leave his sidekick role behind him, however, as he takes the lead in the forthcoming adaptation of James Dashner’s young adult novel The Maze Runner – a dystopian sci-fi set in a community of teenage boys who have their memories wiped before being introduced to the open expanse of the Glade, a concrete-walled area adjacent to an enormous maze.

Deadline reports that the Teen Wolf star will play Thomas, the film’s protagonist and the latest male arrival to the Glade. O’Brien is the first American actor to join the cast so far, and other names already attached to the film include Kaya Scodelario (Skins), Aml Ameen (Kidulthood), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones) and Will Poulter (Son of Rambow). The film originally had Twilight‘s Catherine Hardwicke attached to direct, but she’s since been replaced by VFX artist Wes Ball, for whom The Maze Runner will be a feature debut.

It’s difficult to get a sense of what to expect from this film; the script was written by The Today Show producer Noah Oppenheim and, if it beats his Jackie Onassis biopic to the big screen, will also be his feature debut as a screenwriter. It seems as though Twentieth Century Fox is playing this one quite cautiously in terms of budget, which is understandable considering the fact that Dashner’s works don’t have the same kind of following as the likes of The Hunger Games, Harry Potter or Twilight.

Having said that, smaller names don’t necessarily mean a small amount of talent, and most of the named cast so far are arguably on the verge of becoming breakout stars. O’Brien brings with him a dedicated following of Teen Wolf fans (meaning teenage girls – one of the most lucrative markets there is), and Kaya Scodelario comes from the same British teen drama that kick-started the careers of Dev Patel, Nicholas Hoult and Joe Dempsie. If The Maze Runner turns out well, there’s franchise potential to be found here.

If any Screen Rant readers are fans of Dashner’s novel, let us know what you think about this casting choice for Thomas. If you haven’t read the book, does this Lord of the Flies meets The Hunger Games premise sound intriguing enough to get you excited for The Maze Runner? Share your thoughts in the comments.

The Maze Runner is expected to hit theaters in 2014. We’ll keep you up to date on any future details.

Source: Deadline