Will There Be Another 'Maze Runner' Movie? The Franchise's Newest Offering Is Bucking A Major Hollywood Trend
The second installment in the Maze Runner series, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials , opens on Sept. 18 and is expected to be a big hit. The first Maze Runner movie, released last year and based on the dystopian YA novel of the same name, debuted to positive reviews and a massive take at the box office, bringing in roughly 10 times its budget. Clearly the stage is set for the sequel to be even bigger, but what's in store for the series later on? In other words, will there be another Maze Runner movie after The Scorch Trials?
Get ready to run to the theater, because a third Maze Runner movie is on the way. Even if The Scorch Trials totally bombs (unlikely, seeing how it's already pulled in $26.8 million in one weekend in some foreign markets), the next installment in the series is already planned and even has a release date. The Maze Runner: The Death Cure will premiere on Feb. 17, 2017, with filming set to begin this coming February. But even though a third Maze Runner movie is on its way, that doesn't mean fans should just expect more of the same. The Death Cure is not only going in a different direction than the previous two Maze Runner movies — it's also not following in the footsteps of other recent movies based on YA novels.
As you've no doubt noticed, a lot of movie series based on YA novels have gotten into the habit of splitting the last book of their respective series into two movies, regardless of whether or not it benefits the plot, in an effort to squeeze more dollars out of a profitable franchise. Harry Potter was the first to do this with The Deathly Hollows being split into two parts, followed by Twilight's Breaking Dawn, The Hunger Games' Mockingjay, and the upcoming third installment of the Divergent series, Allegiant: Part One. The Maze Runner is bucking this trend, however, and ending the series as a proper trilogy, lining up with the three books of the series and shutting it down after The Death Cure. Hopefully the lack of bloat will make for a more streamlined series, and it's nice to see a movie studio seemingly favor story over dollars, for once.
In addition to The Death Cure differentiating itself from other YA movies, it's also going to stand out compared to its predecessors in its own series. The movie is going to stray from the book version and pick up around a year after the events of The Scorch Trials , whereas that movie took place the day after the events of The Maze Runner. Not only that, but the movie is almost completely changing its formula for the new movie. According to the film's director, Wes Ball, the new movie will have an entirely different look, moving production from New Mexico to likely Vancouver. The genre and feel of the film will also be different, Ball told Empire Online, with a grittier approach that Ball compares to film noir. Why mess with what works, you ask? Because The Maze Runner likes messing with your expectations, that's why.
One thing is clear about The Maze Runner movies: This series isn't afraid to take risks. By bucking tried and true trends both in the YA film genre along with what's worked for its own movies in the past, the series continues to prove that it's a different animal compared to the other dystopian fare aimed at young adults. And The Death Cure promises to be the most different yet. I can't wait.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy (3)