There are only a few more weeks until The Maze Runner is released on September 19, so it’s no surprise the cast along with director Wes Ball and author James Dashner were out in full force at San Diego Comic-Con to discuss the highly anticipated adaptation! In addition to the panel open to con-goers who survived Hall H, the crew from The Maze Runner took part in a 20th Century Fox Press Conference where they answered questions about their roles, how closely the film follows the book and what it was like working on the film! The Daily Quirk took part in this special event and we’re bringing you the highlights of the conference below along with a video of the conference to watch for yourself!
Dylan O’Brien spoke about playing Thomas, a character who just had his memory erased. O’Brien said that as an actor, it was fun to focus on Thomas’ journey once the film starts and discover facts about himself as the story unfolds. Director Wes Ball added that O’Brien’s job was to react to everything that is being thrown at him. He said that the elevator scene is similar to Thomas being born into a new world. The overall arc of the movie is that Thomas starts as a vulnerable boy and leaves as a man. The mystery that drives the movie forward is beneficial to the actors, even if it is not a typical way to approach a character.
Kaya Scodelario, who plays Teresa, was asked what it was like to be the lead female in the movie. She eloquently responded, “We don’t have to keep calling it male or female anymore, do we? Just lead. It’s 2014, no more of that.” When asked what task she would take on if she were in the Glade, she had fun coming up with different ideas, like the spiritual counselor or leading the art workshop. “I’d want to do something a bit hippie,” she teased.
The director and actors became tense when an audience member asked author James Dashner if there was anything in the film that wasn’t done the way he envisioned. Their nervousness quickly faded when Dashner said that he considers himself one of the ‘luckiest authors in the history of authors.’ He had lots of conversations with the director prior to the start of production and was able to visit the set several times during the process. Dashner made the crowd laugh when he held up his hand and stated, “I can honestly say the only part I hated in the movie was when it ended!”
Director Wes Ball was asked what makes the The Maze Runner different from other Young Adult books that are being adapted for film. This led to a discussion on how the movie compares to The Hunger Games. Ball stated that it is the concept of The Maze Runner that makes it stand out. The kids are placed in an environment where they have to create their own little world. In The Hunger Games, it was every person for themselves, while the characters in The Maze Runner have to work together. There’s no romance in this film, it’s purely about extreme situations and how these characters react to the intensity.
The final question was for Dylan O’Brien, who was asked what it was like to work with Ball, a young director making his first full length film. O’Brien said that his first impression of Ball was that he was a hardworking director with a gift for storytelling. He added that the ideal director is someone that he can learn from, and he learned so much from working with Ball on this film. Ball responded by complimenting his team, stating that it was a collaborative effort and his cast created characters that the audience will care about. James Dashner added to the heart-to-heart, saying, “There’s going to be hugs after this!”
Watch the press conference below and check out The Maze Runner when it hits theaters September 19!
Reporting by Ashley Bulayo | Camera by Cara McGee (Freelance) | Production by Kelsey Cortez | Written Content by Emily Parsons
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