First Look: Dylan O'Brien Feels the Heat in 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials'

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 07:49 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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First Look: Dylan O'Brien Feels the Heat in 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials'

Since it was based on a YA series, you knew The Maze Runner was a setup for at least two sequels even before the movie ended on a blatant setup for at least two sequels.

The first sequel, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, follows Dylan O'Brien and company out of the Glade and into the harsh world beyond the mechanized labyrinth that entrapped them.  Based on the first official images from The Scorch Trials, the former Gladers find a lot more than they bargained for in this dangerous new setting.

“The first movie was the mystery of ‘Where are we and what is this place? And can we get out?’ But the second movie is about the repercussions of getting out and the discovery of what the world is actually like,” producer Wyck Godfrey tells Entertainment Weekly.

Last time, our heroes were acting out a little Lord of the Flies under the thumb of a grown-up organization called WCKD.  In the sequel, based on the novel by James Dashner, O'Brien's Thomas discovers that his fellow Gladers and WCKD itself are comprised of survivors of a massive solar flare that devastated Earth and decimated humanity.

“It has transformed the world into a desert with sand dunes that crawl and are swallowing the ruins of a lost world,” explains Wes Ball, who made his feature debut on The Maze Runner.

If you enjoyed the lexicon of the Gladers, complete with the made-up slang so common to YA dystopias, there's plenty more to dig in The Scorch Trials.  Cranks, for example. “We don’t want to call them zombies, but they fit into that category,” quoth Ball, who opts instead to name-check 28 Days Later.... “They’re not undead, but they are rage-filled.”

The first of these three brand-spankin'-new images shows our heroes in peril (how are their shirts staying up?).  “Our group runs into a lot of people out in the Scorch. Some are friends, some are foes. In this case, they’ve stumbled onto the latter,” teases Ball.

O'Brien, a rumored candidate to star as the rebooted Spider-Man, returns as Thomas, leader of the memory-wiped Gladers.  Also returning from the first film are Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Darden, Alexander Flores, and Patricia Clarkson, who played the standard-issue enignmatic heavy last time.

The cast has expanded pretty substantially this time, with Aiden Gillen (Littlefinger!), Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor, Giancarlo Esposito (Buggin' Out!), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandrei!), Rosa Salazar, Katherine McNamara, and Rosa Salazar.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is set to open at a theater near you September 18, 2015, just about a year to the day after its predecessor.

Assuming Scorch Trials makes bank, Maze Runner: The Death Cure ought to arrive in September 2016, the only real question is whether Fox will chop the book into two movies, as is the style these days.

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