Current YA book-to-film champ The Hunger Games is winding down (until further notice) with the upcoming finale, Mockingjay, Part 2. However, that series has certainly had its fair share of competing successors vying to fill its place in the cinematic marketplace.
The Divergent series has tapped into the demand for young adult dystopian entertainment, though The Maze Runner is the bigger success story (with larger worldwide grosses and lower production costs than Divergent, to boot). Maze Runner earned $340 million worldwide back in 2014, and now its sequel Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, aims to build upon that initial momentum out of the gate.
20th Century Fox has just released the second trailer for Scorch Trials (see above), ramping up its marketing campaign ahead of its fall release. The film's teaser played up the mystery surrounding WKCD and the adventures Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and the other Gladers will face in the Scorch (the desolate landscape that lends the sequel its title), while the full-length theatrical preview highlights the bigger stakes, startling revelations, and new enemies (as well as allies) that Thomas and the gang encounter as their quest to survive continues.
On that note, check out a new Maze Runner: Scorch Trials character poster (featuring Thomas), below:
There's not a whole lot that distinguishes The Maze Runner from other current YA sci-fi fare, as far as genre tropes go. The post-apocalyptic setting, the teens-in-peril premise and the conspiracy behind it all very much resemble elements in both Divergent and The Hunger Games (as well as their respective predecessors). Still, the first Maze Runner is generally regarded as one of the better YA adaptations (in this case, based on the novels by James Dashner).
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has the unenviable task of better setting the series apart and proving that its predecessor's success wasn't a fluke. Director Wes Ball is returning to helm the sequel, and with a cast that includes such acclaimed performers as Patricia Clarkson, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper and Lili Taylor in its supporting cast, The Scorch Trials could very well make good on the first film's promise. Regardless, the third chapter in the trilogy, Maze Runner: The Death Cure is heading our way in 2017 to complete the story (not over the course of two films, thankfully).
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opens in U.S. theaters on September 18th, 2015, followed by The Maze Runner: The Death Cure on February 17th, 2017.
Source: 20th Century Fox