The saga continues

Paula Fleri-Soler gives us a sneak peak behind The Maze Runner: Death Cure

The Maze Runner: Death Cure

The Maze Runner: Death Cure

The Young Adult literary genre has provided much fodder for the big screen. While the lofty heights of the books in the Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games series and their cinematic adaptations have been very hard to reach, The Maze Runner movies – based on the novels by James Dashner – have earned a respectable fourth place in terms of box-office takings and have earned a solid following among fans.

The first Maze Runner, released in 2014, introduced us to the involuntary inhabitants of the mysterious encampment knows as The Glade. This disparate group of young men – and one woman – were surrounded by an ever-changing maze with 200-foot walls. The only way of escape was to solve the maze.

Although, after a series of relentless physical and mental challenges the youths succeeded in finding a way out, they discovered a brutal truth: they were the subjects of a cruel test.

In Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the Gladers, as they were now known, discovered that once out of the maze they were not the only participants forced to endure tests.  There were, in fact, other mazes and other survivors and they were to learn of the shady organisation that had selected them, WCKD.

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), who had become the presumptive leader of the group, didn’t trust the message he was hearing that “WCKD is good.” Breaking free from the compound where they’d been housed after being ‘rescued’, Thomas led the survivors of the original maze and others he had encountered in the new facility out into ‘the scorch’, a desert wasteland that appeared to be all that was left of the world.

The fans of the books are very loyal to the stories, but some things just work better in a cinematic universe

Looking for a rumoured safe haven, the group became trapped when Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), conflicted about WCKD and its true mission, gave up the hidden location of the surviving assemblage and a WCKD resistance group known as The Right Arm.

Having been betrayed by Teresa and vowing to save his friend Minho (Ki Hong Lee), who has been abducted by WCKD, Thomas concluded The Scorch Trials vowing to stop WCKD and Dr Ava Paige, the woman behind the organisation and its nefarious experiments.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure, the third and final in the series, picks up roughly six months after the Scorch Trials ended. In the final battle of The Scorch the survivors continue their quest to find a safe haven away from the influence of WCKD.

As is often the case when adapting a book for the big screen, director Wes Ball, the man who has helmed all three movies, enjoys the creative freedom that allows him to make changes.

“There are things that aren’t exactly like the book, but they’re inspired by the books,” he says, adding the team was fortunate that Dashner agreed with the changes. “We wanted to do what we could with respect to the fans and what they want to see,” adds the director.

The author confirmed his approval, stating: “The fans of the books are very loyal to the stories and very protective of them, but some things just work better in a cinematic universe. Wes Ball has been great in finding those things that I think the fans have embraced as well.”

The conclusion of the Maze Runner trilogy reunites many of the original cast members from 2014’s The Maze Runner. Joining O’Brien, Scodelario and Lee are Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt; Dexter Darden as Frypan and Patricia Clarkson as Dr Ava Paige along with newer cast members from Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; Giancarlo Esposito as Jorge, Rosa Salazar as Brenda, Aidan Gillen as Janson, Barry Pepper as Vince and Walton Goggins as Lawrence.  The screenplay is written by T.S. Nowlin.

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