Runner, griever, builder, and WICKD; these are just some of the things you should know if you’re going to watch the novel-turned-movie, “The Maze Runner”.

Set in the dystopian future, “The Maze Runner” tells the story of Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien) who woke up to a group of boys in a completely enclosed environment, “The Glade”. With their memories wiped clean, the boys only remember their names and call themselves the Gladers. With so many strange things going on, Thomas eventually discovers the way to solve the maze and begins his dangerous adventure with the Gladers and a comatose girl, Teresa (played by Kaya Scodelario) to escape the maze filled with horrid creatures, known as the “Grievers”.

The Maze Runner still


And of course, this is only the first book we are talking about as the story is set to unfold in its sequels, “The Scorch Trials” and “The Death Cure”. In addition, director Wes Ball made his directorial debut via this film, which received a lot of positive responses from the audience during the private screening at San Diego Comic Con 2014.

Want to know what goes behind-the-scenes of “The Maze Runner”? Unlock the secrets behind the mysterious maze here:

1. Dylan O’Brien’s MTV hairstyle

MTV Teen Wolf Dylan O Brien
Image via Empire Online

In the book, Thomas is described to be a 16-year-old boy, 5’9″ feet tall, and has brown hair. During an interview with Colldier, Dylan O’Brien revealed that he almost didn’t get the role of Thomas for the film as director Wes Ball thought his hairstyle was too “MTV”. Fortunately, the director changed his mind after seeing a photo of O’Brien with his hair gelled. Dylan O’Brien, who starred in “The Internship” and MTV’s “Teen Wolf”, said:

That’s what he thought, which was so funny. Then he saw a picture of me with more regular hair, the buzzcut or something from “Teen Wolf”, and he brought me back and it worked. It just ended up working out.

2. Ben’s not a runner in the book

Image via
Image via Page to Premiere

Chris Sheffield’s character, Ben, is a builder in the book but he has been changed to become a veteran runner in the movie. In fact, Ben will be the second ring hand man to the Keeper of the Runners, Minho (played by Ki Hong Lee). Despite the changes, the film will stay true to the book as the character will be going through “The Changing”.

3. Blake Cooper’s audition via Twitter


Blake Cooper, who appears in the film as Chuck, gained his role through an impromptu audition on Twitter. Cooper sent a series of tweets to the director after learning that the novel will be turned into a film. As seen in his tweets, Cooper is a huge fan of the novel and stated that he wants to be Chuck in the film.

Although he is a relatively new actor, director Wes Ball asked him to get his agent to contact their casting director and send in his audition tape.

4. WICKD is Good: From “WICKED” to “WICKD” The phrase “WICKD is Good” is frequently mentioned by Teresa in the film, implying that every action or intention WICKD does is justified. In the book, the original term, “WICKED”, is an abbreviation for World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department. The organization is indeed “wicked” in the film as their organisation is responsible for the population wipeout. However, the film decided to change the term to “WICKD” and the author James Dashner reassured the fans on Twitter that the changes are nothing to be worried about:

5. Casting advice from producer’s kids

According to Page to Premiere, casting process for the film was made easier for producer Wyck Godfrey as his young sons are fans of James Dashner’s novels. While casting, Godfrey had his young sons to watch the audition tapes and get their feedbacks on the casting. He was quoted as saying:

Wyatt, my oldest son, when we talked about Dylan O’Brien, initially was like, “He’s just too cool. Thomas is more vulnerable!” I sent him a picture when we were out here of Dylan with his hair down. It’s like he’s a different guy than the Teen Wolf guy. Obviously he’s an actor, but it makes him seem so much younger. Wyatt was like, “Oh my God, that’s him. That’s perfect.”

6. Casts’ campout night in the Glade

The Maze Runner Newt

As the filming location for “The Glade” scene was set in Louisiana, the entire cast of the film spent their night camping out in the Glade. Thomas Brodie-Sangste, who played Newt in the film, revealed in an interview that they “wanted to bond together” and “completely immersed in the surroundings” when trying to develop a character. But of course, the production team had already ensured that the film set was snake-free before the filming began.

7. James Dashner’s cameo appreance in the film

Just like Stan Lee, author James Dashner is set to appear in the film as a cameo too! He dropped by to visit the cast and film his cameo part in the upcoming movie. During an exclusive interview with Page to Premiere, he said:

I know you probably can’t say a lot about it! Yeah! That was absolutely incredible. I’ve been joking with my family and everything, that I’m a Hollywood star now! Just to be on set, to get a costume, and get makeup, and get the director to call action. I mean…I’m in a scene! It was just an absolute surreal dream come true. But yes, I am in the movie!

8. The sequel of the film “The Scorch Trials” is currently in development

The sequel of the novel, “The Scorch Trials” will be adapted into the film as well and Fox has acquired the rights to the film. T.S Nowlin will be penning the script for the screenplay and director Wes Ball will be supervising the scriptwriting. During SDCC 2014, Wes Ball announced that the shooting for the sequel will most likely begin in Fall 2014.

Set to be released on 11th September, the film stars Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangsterm, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia Clarkson.

(Source: 1, 2 / Featured image via The Maze Runner)

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