After going on hiatus while series star Dylan O'Brien recovered from injuries sustained on set, Maze Runner: The Death Cure will resume shooting next February. The film is the third and final installment in the Maze Runner trilogy, based on the books by James Dashner, which follows a group of teenagers as they navigate a disease-ridden, dystopian world, led by protagonist Thomas (O'Brien).
Followers of the series and its star will no doubt be pleased to hear the news of filming recommencing early next year, as not only does it promise the third installment in the successful series will be that much closer to hitting theaters, but also that O'Brien has successfully recovered from his injuries.
As you may recall, O'Brien sustained multiple injuries on set for The Death Cure on March 18, just four days after principal filming had commenced in Vancouver. At the time of the injury, Fox released a statement saying that O'Brien had been hospitalized, and writer James Dashner took to Twitter to clarify that "Production is postponed but certainly not cancelled." Deadline reported that O'Brien had "fractured either his cheekbone or orbital socket." The film was originally set to continue shooting in May, but the date was postponed to further accommodate O'Brien's recovery. The February 2017 recommencement date is slightly ironic, given that that was the month the film was originally supposed to premiere.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the last dystopian YA blockbuster left standing after it was announced earlier this summer that the last installment in the Divergent series, Ascendant, would be relegated to smaller screens. The Maze Runner series also stars Kaya Scodelario (Skins) and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones). The Death Cure has been written by T.S. Nowlin, who also adapted The Scorch Trials to film, and co-wrote the screenplay for The Maze Runner.
It's unclear whether critics will find the third Maze Runner film was worth the wait, especially after The Scorch Trials' relatively bad reception. Screen Rant's review of the film especially found that the script relied too heavily on Thomas, and didn't give other characters the chance to feel real. Last September, director Wes Ball reported that fans could expect a big time jump between the events of The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, a move that could potentially prove too risky given the already complicated nature of adapting such a detail-ridden series into film.
The Death Cure has the chance to live up to its name, in terms of dystopian YA on film. If done well, the film could revive the genre, possibly pushing execs to green light adaptations of the prequel novels. The film's delayed shoot may also mean that the subject matter comes across to young audiences as fresh, instead of done to death. But, if this final installment in the trilogy proves as hum-drum as its predecessors, it may be time to kiss the youthful post-apocalypse goodbye.
Screen Rant will have more details on Maze Runner: The Death Cure as they are made available.