Maze Runner: The Death Cure is finally arriving in cinemas this week after a very long wait. The final installment of the dystopian franchise, based on James Dashner's novel series of the same, was originally intended to hit movie theaters in February 2017. However, because of an onset injury suffered by Dylan O'Brien the whole production was put on hold.
Principal photography of the film began on March 14, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, but just four days later it was reported that the actor - who plays the lead role of Thomas in the films - had been seriously hurt and rushed to hospital. The producers were hoping they'd be able to resume shooting the movie by May of the same year but it turned out that O'Brien's injuries were far more serious than they had originally thought and he would need a significant amount of time to recover. This, naturally, led to a longer delay in production and, by extension, release date: it was confirmed a couple of months after the accident that the film would now release in January 2018 (originally January 12, later changed to January 27).
According to reports, the accident occurred during the filming of a stunt - which many believe takes place at the beginning of the movie - where he was allegedly pulled from one vehicle and hit by another. His injuries were believed to include a concussion, facial fracture and a brain trauma. The actor spoke about his injuries and recovery for the first time last year while promoting the movie American Assassin. He told Vulture:
“I had lost a lot of function, just in my daily routine. I wasn’t even at a point where I felt like I could handle social situations, let alone showing up and being responsible for work every day. Long hours on set, delivering a performance and carrying a movie … it just makes your palms sweat. And then there was a part of me, too, that was feeling pressured and stressed out by the mere fact that I had all of these people still emailing me, checking in, I would get so f**cking mad. Like if ever I heard from a producer [who was] seeing when I’d be able to get back on set, I’d f**king go nuts. It would really, really piss me off.”
Eventually, he did go back and the production resumed shooting in March 2017, this time in Cape Town, South Africa. It wrapped three months later in June, marking the end of the Maze Runner journey for Dylan, director Wes Ball and cast members Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario and Will Poulter.
Despite the major production shake-up, it doesn't seem like The Death Cure was affected in any major way by the delay, with little-to-no signs of notes in the finished film. Speaking to Screen Rant last year, Scoderlario said this was mainly down to the close relationship between the cast and director that had built up over three films, meaning the energy between them was picked right back up.
- Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) release date: Jan 26, 2018