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Fox Finds Director For Sci-Fi Dystopian Feature ‘The Maze Runner’

Written by on August 24, 2012 

Another dystopian novel is finding its way to the big screen. Deadline reports that Wes Ball has signed on to direct The Maze Runner for 20th Century Fox. Based on the 2009 young adult novel by James Dashner, The Maze Runner tells the story of Thomas, a kid who wakes up in a place known as The Glade with no memory of anything other than his name. The Glade is a large area surrounded by giant stone walls that move around every night, effectively turning it into a maze (hence the title, I guess), and is inhabited by machine-like animals called Grievers who inject a fatal poison into the humans that can only be stopped by an antidote known as the Grief Serum. As he and the other inhabitants, called Runners, try to find a way to escape the Maze and avoid the Grievers, he tries to piece together his memories and remember who he is and maybe even why he’s here.

The Maze Runner is the first book in a proposed series and Dashner released the prequel story, called The Kill Order, earlier this month. Noah Oppenheim (a plenty busy writer in his own right) has written the first draft of the script. This isn’t the only project on newcomer Ball’s plate; earlier this year Fox picked up his short animated film called Ruin (seen below) which he developed with screenwriter T.S. Nowlin, and he’s on board to direct that feature-length adaptation as well (which will be produced by McG, in case you wanted any positive thoughts immediately squashed due to his track record).

Although The Maze Runner does have many differences, to me it sounds like a weird combination of Cube and more importantly The Hunger Games, which is probably why Fox decided to develop it into a movie in the first place. But I don’t know how well this movie is going to turn out; the plot itself is interesting, but you know they’re going to turn it into a franchise so I doubt that The Maze Runner is going to get a chance to be a complete story. Instead we may end up with a movie that leaves a lot of loose plot threads, and if it tanks at the box office, they’ll never be resolved and it’ll end up a movie that forever feels incomplete (think of The Vampire’s Assistant from a few years back). But hey, at least we get yet another dystopian movie. You might be sick of them, but I can’t get enough of them because I’m a negative person who fears for our future as a society.

Have you read The Maze Runner? Do you think they’ll actually make it into one solid movie, or does it already reek of the “let’s make it a franchise LOL” stench of most young adult novel adaptations?

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