It's not fun being a teenager in the new wave of Hollywood sci-fi movies geared towards young adults. If they're not being forced into the gladiatorial combat of The Hunger Games or the strict social segregation of Divergent, they're being rounded up and forced to run through a giant maze filled with deadly monsters. The latter is the premise of Wes Ball's upcoming mystery thriller The Maze Runner, in which confused amnesiac Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) wakes up in a community of boys who are dedicated to finding a way through the enormous shifting maze that keeps them trapped in the Glade.
The Maze Runner is based on the novel of the same name by James Dashner, which has so far been followed by two sequels and a prequel. In case it's not immediately obvious, Twentieth Century Fox is targeting a potential franchise similar to Divergent, which already has three sequels in development. Even if this doesn't go ahead, however, The Maze Runner still has a lot of potential as a straightforward standalone movie with a premise that should be intriguing for fans of movies like Cube.
For those who are still undecided about whether or not to go and see The Maze Runner, Fox has released three new clips (one of them via IGN) from the movie, along with a featurette in which Dashner is taken on a tour of the set so that he can see the world he created brought to life. Well, to a certain extent; the movie will be very CGI-heavy (Ball's background is in visual effects), so a lot of the tour necessarily involves concept art rather than actual props.
Easily the most gripping clip of the bunch is the scene in which Thomas, against all the rules and the advice of his fellow Gladers, decides to rush into the maze when the doors are closing and help to rescue Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and Alby (Aml Ameen). For now we'll assume that Thomas doesn't actually get squished into a human pancake at the end of this scene, but watching him get slowly crushed between the closing doors is pretty stomach-churning.
The cast of The Maze Runner will likely be one of its strengths. O'Brien has long been one of the strongest actors on MTV's supernatural drama Teen Wolf, and Will Poulter (We're the Millers) looks to be turning in a powerful performance as Gally, the (sort of) antagonist of the film. The Maze Runner features a whole lot of testosterone, but Skins star Kaya Scodelario will also play an important supporting role in the movie as Teresa, the first girl to arrive in the Glade - and someone who has some kind of connection to Thomas.
The Maze Runner opens in U.S. theaters on September 19th, 2014.
Source: IGN, Twentieth Century Fox