Adaptations of young adult sci-fi novels have been experiencing a resurgence in recent years – leading to a number of stories on the big screen, where young action heroes fight back against scary futuristic world. Among these is The Maze Runner, based on the novel of the same name by James Dashner, in which a teenage boy called Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in a Cube-esque scenario where he and a group of other boys are imprisoned at the center of an enormous maze and left to puzzle their way out of it.
As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the maze is constantly shifting and populated by strange and deadly creatures called Grievers, which were briefly glimpsed in the most recent trailer for The Maze Runner. Thomas also has to deal with the suspicions of his fellow ‘Gladers’, including Gally (Will Poulter), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Alby (Aml Ameen). Give yourself a pat on the back if you’re able to notice a pattern in the characters’ names.
To introduce the main characters of the Glade – including its first female resident, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) – Twentieth Century Fox has released a new featurette that, well, introduces the Gladers and reveals some new clips from the movie, along with plenty of B-roll footage. It’s focused a lot more on the behind-the-scenes relationship between the cast members rather than the story of the movie itself, but is still a fun watch.
The Maze Runner is the feature directorial debut of Wes Ball, who comes from a background in visual effects, and the film was co-scripted by Noah Oppenheim, who has also been tapped to write the screenplay for Allegiant: Part 1, the third movie in the Divergent series. If The Maze Runner performs well at the box office next month then it could mean the start of a new YA sci-fi franchise, since the book upon which its based is the first entry in a trilogy (development has already begun on the second installment, in anticipation of Maze Runner proving to be a box office success).
At the very least, The Maze Runner looks like an entertaining blend of action and mystery with a strong young cast, and could be just the movie to help cool off after a busy summer of blockbusters.
The Maze Runner opens in U.S. theaters on September 19th, 2014.