The next adaptation of a YA dystopian novel to hit theaters is Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. The sequel to 2014's The Maze Runner will pick up right where the previous movie left off, following Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the other Gladers who made it out of the maze, only to find themselves tasked with navigating a dangerous new world.
While not quite a global phenomenon, the first Maze Runner performed well at the box office, earning $340 million worldwide, and was largely considered one of the better YA adaptations in recent memory. As such, expectations for the sequel are high, and details about the film have slowly been rolling out all summer.
Director Wes Ball just announced on Twitter that he had officially finished post-production on The Scorch Trials with the following tweet:
That's it. The movie is done! Just color corrected the last huge VFX shot. Thanks weta, efilm, fox, my cast and crew. See ya at the movies!
— Wes Ball (@wesball) August 14, 2015
Ball also drew attention to a recently released French poster for film, which you can see below:
The image is an aerial shot of a burning maze with the silhouette of someone exiting the scorched structure, their shadow looming large behind them. This fits in thematically with the film's trailers, highlighting the burned wasteland the Earth has become, and emphasizing the danger the Gladers are still in.
All in all, this looks like a promising sequel. O'Brien is a talented enough actor to handle the often over-the-top subject matter, and he is surrounded by an outstanding supporting cast in Patricia Clarkson and Lili Taylor, which helps take some of the burden off O'Brien's shoulders. The addition of Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) as Janson, the second highest member of WCKD, is especially exciting, as it will give the Gladers a necessary antagonist with which to tangle.
With the first movie, Ball proved his ability to deftly translate characters and plot lines from book to film. Scorch Trials should allow him to continue fleshing out this harsh world and the characters struggling to survive in it, especially now that he is not bogged down with explaining the universe and laying the groundwork of the mythology.
Hopefully, this film will avoid the sophomore slump, and give us a reason to want to see how this story ends. After the success of the first film, we are already guaranteed a complete trilogy with Maze Runner: The Death Cure slated for a 2017 release.
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.