First Look: The Maze Runner

For those of you who don’t know, The Maze Runner is the first book in a trilogy by author James Dashner. It follows the story of a boy named Thomas, who wakes up without any memories in an  elevator that takes him to a large expanse known as the Glades, which is surrounded by a giant maze that opens its walls during the day and closes up at night. The Glades is also home to a group of boys who tell Thomas that every thirty days a new member, a new boy, joins their group. That is, until the very next day, when a girl is sent up in the elevator with a message for Thomas, one which could help him figure out the key to the maze and their new life. 

I haven’t had the chance to read The Maze Runner, but I have read its Wikipedia page enough times to know that this is the kind of story that I would actually like to read, even if I already know what happens in the novel…and its sequels. I am into YA adaptations (don’t be judge-y, I like other genres too), which is why this film has been on my radar for a couple of months. I’ve sort of been following the film adaptation’s production, especially once I heard that Kaya Scodelario was cast in the film. Like many others, I’ve been a huge fan of Scodeario since her work as Effy Stonem on the UK teen drama Skins. I hope that this film will help her break into the North American market quicker.

The teaser trailer for The Maze Runner debuted last night during a new episode of Teen Wolf, which stars Dylan O’Brien who also plays Thomas in this film. Given that I have not actually read any of the books, I don’t really have any expectations for the film. That being said, I did like the trailer. Here are a few of my reactions to some of the moments in the trailer:

“Oh hey, it’s that guy from We Are The Millers! He’s helpful.”

“This is a training facility for Spider-Man.”

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 2.13.42 AM

“Oh hey, it’s Jojen Reed! He knows what he’s talking about.”

“Oh hey, it’s Effy and now she’s speaking with an American accent. Where’s the eyeliner?”

“But where is the Triwizard Cup?”

“Ooo, a sci-fi-y thing with Marmite all over it.”

“No Jojen!!!! I thought I could trust you!!! You took me beyond the wall to the North!” “…Also, this is getting violent.”

It will be interesting to see whether or not 20th Century Fox will be able to crack male audiences, which has been a major challenge for most YA adaptations, particularly in the post-Potter era. They’ve got Wyck Godfrey as one of the producers on this film, but I’m not sure if his involvement will hinder or help the execution of the plot line. Godfrey also produced the Twilight series which, as we all know, was incredibly successful at the box office and Eragon, which was, erm, not quite as well-received. It’s also going to be really difficult to convince audiences to be interested in yet another teen dystopian-esque story, and you can’t really shy away from this aspect of the storyline. Even though the premise of this story is presented in the trailer in such a way that will automatically draw comparisons to The Hunger Games and as of this week, Divergent, I really liked that they played up the action and allude to a Lord of the Flies type of scenario. I’ve read quite a few positive reactions to these elements in the trailer, which is good to see. I’ll be keeping an eye on future promotional materials and yes, will probably read the book(s) at some point before it releases on September 19th.

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