Twentieth Century Fox's adaptation of The Maze Runner, a young adult novel from James Dashner, has been in development for several years now, and is finally heading into production. Since we first reported on it, director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) was replaced by newcomer Wes Ball, a VFX artist who made waves last year with a post-apocalyptic short film called The Ruin.
This background may have been one of the reasons he was selected for The Maze Runner, which also takes place in a dystopian future, where teenage boys have their memories wiped before being sent to a compound called "The Glade" that lies on the edge of an enormous maze.
Along with a script by Today Show producer Noah Oppenheim, the film has also gained two members of the male supporting cast: Kidulthood actor Aml Ameen will play the leader of the Gladers, Alby, and Game of Thrones' Thomas Brodie-Sangster will play his second-in-command, Newt. There's no news yet as too who will play the film's lead, Thomas, but Ball has just "accidentally" let slip the identity of the film's lead actress.
A recent Tweet from Ball seems to suggest that principal photograph has already begun on the film, saying that, "Aml Ameen and Kaya Scodelario were mesmerizing on camera today." Following this reveal, he adds, "Oops. Did I just reveal @
kScodders is our Teresa?"
Scodelario's best-known performances to date are as Effy in the British teen drama series Skins, and Eve in Duncan Jones' low-budget sci-fi Moon. She also recently starred alongside Alfred Molina and Jessica Biel in indie drama Emmanuel and the Truth About Fishes, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year.
She responded to the announcement on Twitter with excitement, saying:
"Thank u so much 2 everyone sending me good vibes 4 #mazeRunner I can't tell you how excited I am to be a part of it! Thanks Fox and @WesBall ... And to all the #mazerunner fans... @wesball is seriously a don/dude/legend/hero/good-bloke your movie is in very safe hands."
Scodelario's character, Teresa, is the first girl to arrive in The Glades, and brings with her a message that there will be no more new arrivals to their community. She possesses telepathic abilities, remembers enough from the outside world to know that her arrival marks the coming of a great change for the Gladers, and says that she has "triggered the Ending."
If filming has already begun, then it's likely we'll soon find out who will be playing the lead for the film, as well as the rest of the main cast. James Dashner has had access to the footage so far, and seems to be very enthusiastic about both the director and the cast. He also joked, in response to fan reactions to Scodelario's casting, "I owe Kaya some royalties. People keep tweeting that NOW they'll try Maze Runner since she was cast."
The actress does bring with her a significant fanbase consisting primarily of Skins fans, and isn't the first star of the show to break out into mainstream cinema. Nicholas Hoult played the show's lead - and Effy's brother - Tony Stonem, before going on to star in X-Men: First Class, Warm Bodies and Jack the Giant Slayer. Joe Dempsie, who played Skins' party animal, Chris, also starred in Game of Thrones as Gendry, and Dev Patel was cast as the lead in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire on the recommendation of Boyle's daughter, who was a big fan of Skins.
Does this casting news make you went to see The Maze Runner when it's released? Let us know your thoughts on Kaya Scodelario and the rest of the cast 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: Wes Ball