Curiosities | ‘Maze Runner’, dystopian sci-fi starring Dylan O’Brien, turns 7!

The 2000s and 2010s were marked by several adaptations of young-adult literary sagas – and one of the most famous was the franchise ‘Maze Runner’.

Directed by Wes Ball in its directorial debut and based on the homonymous novel by James Dashnerthe plot follows Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), a teenager who arrives in a clearing at the center of a giant maze. Like the other youths thrown in there before him, he has no memory of his former life. Thomas quickly becomes part of the group and soon demonstrates a unique perspective that earns him a promotion to Runner status – those who patrol the ever-changing labyrinth to find an escape route. Along with Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), the only girl in the group, Thomas tries to convince his companions that he knows a way out.

Also with names like Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter and Patricia Clarksonthe first chapter of the trilogy received numerous accolades and made a splash at the box office, grossing almost US$350 million worldwide.

To celebrate its recent 7th anniversary, we have prepared a short list listing some backstage triviawhich you can check below:

Enjoy watching:

  • The production had to hire snake hunters to ensure the areas where they were filming were snake-free. Before filming began, they found 25 venomous snakes. The largest they found was a 1.5m rattlesnake.
  • To win the role of Chuck, the actor Blake Cooper continually campaigned for an audition via Twitter. He sent Ball tweet after tweet after tweet stating he was made for the role. Ball eventually relented and told Cooper to send his audition to the casting director, who stated that Cooper was the perfect Chuck.

  • The cast spent the week before production taking part in survival training in the clearing. They learned to build tools and shelter out of the surrounding nature.
  • Brodie-Sangster, who played Newt, would put a rock in his shoe to remind himself to limp.
  • Of the largely British cast, only Brodie-Sangster could keep his accent.

  • O’Brien’s character in the series ‘Teen Wolf’ was unconscious for most of the episode “Lunar Eclipse” for him to finish shooting the film.
  • O’Brien actually broke his cheekbones during filming, in the scene where he was running away from his first griever and when he went to jump, he slipped.
  • Having seen her work on the British series Skins – Youth on the Skin’Ball wanted Scodelario to play Teresa from the start.
  • Ball originally met with the Fox Studios to direct a feature film version of his short ‘Bad’. They then offered Ball the opportunity to direct ‘Maze Runner’ and he accepted.
  • Brodie-Sangster auditioned for Thomas and Newt. Poulter, in turn, auditioned for Gally and Newt.
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