The last decade or so has seen a number of young adult novel series come to life on the big screen in the form of blockbuster film franchises. Harry Potter and the Twilight Saga popularized certain trends within these adaptations, like splitting the final book in the series into two separate movies, that have been continued through newer franchises like The Hunger Games and Divergent. However, one YA-based film series that won't be following this route is 20th Century Fox's The Maze Runner, which was followed up by this year's The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials and will be completed in 2017 with The Maze Runner: The Death Cure.
Another trend in these blockbuster franchises that's beginning to take hold is continuing the series beyond the final film/book through prequel installments. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will further explore the world of Harry Potter; meanwhile, Lionsgate is considering prequel films to The Hunger Games series. Now, James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner series and its prequel novels, weighs in on whether we'll see the film series continued in the manner, too.
While speaking to Screen Rant about The Scorch Trials and the third film in the series, Dashner spoke briefly about his two prequel novels to the books: The Kill Order, and the upcoming release, The Fever Code. When asked if he hoped to see The Kill Order and The Fever Code come to life on the big screen, Dashner said he would "give anything" to see the adaptations given the green light by Fox:
"That's an easy one to answer because I certainly hope so. It's probably out of my hands, but I would give anything for that to happen because it would be a lot of fun and it would be fun to see some of these actors return to the world. But we'll see what Fox has in store for this series and this world. So, we'll have to wait and see."
Before Scorch Trials hit theaters, fans began gathering on Twitter to show their support of a movie based on The Kill Order through the hashtag #GladerswantaTKOmovie. Series director Wes Ball responded to fans, focusing on the, then-upcoming, film: "Right now, I'm only thinking about THIS movie. Scorch has to be great if we want more films." Then, Dashner responded to the hashtag saying, "No one on planet Earth wants this to happen more than me … We’ll see what happens."
The Kill Order details the events leading up to the beginning of The Maze Runner, following characters as they face a mysterious disease plaguing the world. A scene from The Kill Order - showing how Thomas came to be in the hands of Wicked - was included in The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. The Fever Code, however, will revisit the characters from The Maze Runner and show how each of the Gladers came to be trapped in the maze. With so much material between the two novels to be mined for future installments of the Maze Runner film series, it's certainly plausible for Fox to adapt them in an effort to continue the franchise past The Death Cure.
That being said, it's likely Fox won't give a green light to any future installments until the studio sees how The Death Cure performs at the box office. Although the studio doubled the budget for Scorch Trials, the film wasn't quite as financially successful at the global box office, grossing less than the initial film. However, depending on the reception and success of The Death Cure, it seems possible that Fox could adapt the prequel novels to continue the Maze Runner franchise.
The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials is available on DVD/Blu-ray December 15th, 2015.
The Maze Runner: The Death Cure will hit U.S. theaters February 17th, 2017.