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The Maze Runner is a film based on the 2009 novel of the same name written by James Dashner. The film was directed by Wes Ball and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Development began in January 2011, filming began on May 13th and ended on July 12, 2013. It was released on September 19, 2014.


A 16-year-old boy wakes up inside an underground service elevator with no memory of his identity. A group of male youths greet him in a large grassy area called the Glade that is enclosed by tall, stone walls. Every month, a new boy and supplies arrive in the elevator. The boys, who call themselves Gladers, have formed a rudimentary society with each assuming specialized tasks. Alby, their leader and the first to arrive in the Glade, says every boy eventually recalls his name, but none remember their past. The boy learns that a vast Maze surrounding the Glade may provide the only way out. During the day, designated Runners search the Maze for an escape route, returning before nightfall when the entrance closes. No one has ever survived a night inside the Maze.

While in a competition with another boy named Gally, the boy suddenly remembers his name is Thomas. The next day, Thomas is attacked by Ben, a Runner who has been stung by a Griever – deadly techno-organic creatures that roam the Maze at night. Ben is forced into the Maze and left to die as there is no cure for what the Griever infected him with. Minho, the Keeper of the Runners, and Alby later retrace Ben's steps inside the Maze. Minho reappears at dusk dragging Alby, who is stung by a Griever, but they are unable to reach the closing entrance in time. Thomas spontaneously runs into the Maze to help but all three are trapped. During the night in the Maze, Thomas and Minho tie Alby up high on the Maze wall to hide him from the Grievers, but Minho abandons Thomas when a Griever emerges from the center of the Maze. Thomas slides under the Maze wall, managing to hide from a Griever. Later, Thomas finds Minho and his actions during the night keeps them alive, and he kills a Griever by tricking it into a narrow, closing passageway thus causing it to be crushed, making him the first to ever survive a night in the Maze and kill a Griever. To the other boys' astonishment, they return the next morning.

The next morning, the first-ever girl arrives in the elevator. She apparently recognizes Thomas though he cannot remember her. A note says that "She is the last one ever". Thomas, Minho, Frypan, Winston, and Zart enter the Maze. They locate the Griever corpse and remove a beeping mechanical device from inside it. Gally claims Thomas has jeopardized the fragile peace between the Gladers and the Grievers and wants him punished, but Newt, the second-in-command of the Gladers, instead designates Thomas a Runner. Minho shows Thomas a scale model of the Maze he has built, based on his three years of exploration. The Maze's numbered sections open and close in a regular sequence that might be a code. The device is numbered to correspond to a certain section within the Maze. With the mechanical device, they may be able to find an escape route.

The girl, Teresa, has two syringes filled with an unknown substance. One is used on Alby, and he gradually recovers from the Griever sting and begins regaining his memories. Thomas and Minho venture back into the Maze and discover a possible exit but are nearly trapped, barely making it back to the Glade.

That night, the Maze entrance does not close while others open, letting Grievers pour in. A massacre ensues as the Gladers, practically defenseless against the Grievers, struggle to fight back or hide. Alby, Zart, and a few others are killed during the attack. Gally punches Thomas in the face and blames him for everything that has happened. Thomas, who has had disconnected memory flashes since arriving, stabs himself with a severed Griever stinger in an attempt to revive his memory. The others inject him with the last anti-venom. Unconscious, he recalls that he and Teresa worked for the organization that created the Maze, W.C.K.D. (World Catastrophe: Killzone Department); the boys unknowingly have been test subjects for an experiment. Thomas awakens and shares this information with Teresa, Newt, Minho, and Chuck,

Meanwhile, Gally has taken command and intends to sacrifice Thomas and Teresa to the Grievers to restore peace to the Glade. Most of the Gladers are swayed to free Thomas and Teresa and attempt to escape the Maze, but Gally and a few others refuse to leave. Fighting Grievers as they go, the survivors escape the Maze (in the process, Jeff dies trying to save Minho) and eventually enter a laboratory strewn with dead scientists and technicians. A woman named Ava Paige in a video recording explains that the planet has been devastated by a massive solar flare, followed by a pandemic of a deadly, incurable virus called the Flare that affects the brain of the afflicted. We learn that the Gladers appeared to be immune to the virus. The Gladers learn that they were part of an experiment studying the way their brains worked as a resistance to the virus. At the end, the woman in the video shoots herself as the lab is being attacked by men with military-style weapons but dressed more like mercenaries. Gally suddenly appears armed with a gun he found. Having been stung by a Griever, he insists that they will never be free, then points the gun at Thomas intending to kill him in revenge for the Glade's destruction. Minho throws a spear at Gally, impaling him in the chest, while Gally shoots a bullet at Chuck, hitting him in the chest. Masked armed men rush in and take the group to a helicopter. As they fly over the Maze, it is revealed to be placed in a vast desert wasteland. Eventually, the helicopter approaches a ruined city.

The scene ends with the supposedly-dead scientists meeting in a room. Paige notes that the experiment has been a success; the survivors are now entering Phase Two.


Production history

  • It was first announced in January 2011 that a film version of The Maze Runner had been set up at Fox, with Catherine Hardwicke signed on as director and Noah Oppenheim hired as screenwriter.
  • As of April 28, 2012, the film had not yet been green-lighted.
  • According to James Dashner,[6] the script for the movie has already been written.
  • It was later stated on Dashner's[7] that he believes Catherine Hardwicke is no longer attached to the project.
  • In August 2012, Fox announced that Wes Ball would direct the film.
  • On March 14, 2013, Wes Ball announced that Will Poulter has been officially cast as Gally, Aml Ameen as Alby, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt.
  • On April 9, 2013, Wes Ball announced that Kaya Scodelario has been cast as Teresa.
  • On April 18, Wes Ball announced that Dylan O'Brien has been cast as Thomas and Ki Hong Lee as Minho.
  • On April 23, Wes Ball announced that Blake Cooper has been cast as Chuck.
  • On May 11, Wes Ball announced that Chris Sheffield had been cast as Ben.
  • On May 13, Dexter Darden tweeted that he was filming on set.[8]
  • On June 18, EW announced Patricia Clarkson would join the cast as Chancellor Ava Paige.
  • On October 11, Fox confirmed The Maze Runner's release date was postponed to September 19, 2014.
  • On June 16, 2014, it was announced the movie would have a PG-13 rating.
  • Principal photography took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from May 13 to July 12, 2013.


  1. The Maze Runner (2:55)
  2. What is This Place ? (3:02)
  3. My Name is Thomas (3:16)
  4. Ben's Not Right (2:41)
  5. Banishment  (3:16)
  6. Waiting in the Rain (1:52)
  7. Into The Maze (2:41)
  8. Griever ! (2:41)
  9. Going Back In (2:34)
  10. Why are We Different ? (1:59)
  11. Chat with Chuck (2:20)
  12. Section 7 (5:15)
  13. Maze Rearrange (2:06)
  14. Griever Attack (2:06)
  15. Trapped (2:06)
  16. WCKD Is Good (1:59)
  17. Thomas Remembers (3:37)
  18. Goodbye (2:13)
  19. Final Fight (2:48)
  20. WCKD Lab (5:57)
  21. Finale (5:15)

DVD/Blu-ray Release

The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 16, 2014.

Differences Between Novel and Film

Main article: The Maze Runner book to film differences
  • In the book, Teresa is delivered to the Glade the day following Thomas' arrival, but remains unconscious until Thomas, Minho, and Alby survive the night out in the Maze. In the movie, however, Teresa doesn't become unconscious following her arrival because she isn't delivered until after the night out in the Maze.
  • The Cliff doesn't exist in the movie. Instead of luring them off the cliff, Thomas and Minho kill the Griever by having it get squashed by moving stone walls.
  • In the film, WICKED is spelled WCKD.
  • In the film, Alby was the very first Glader and lived by himself in the Glade for a month until another boy arrived, rather than a whole group of original Gladers.
  • In the book, Teresa wrote "WICKED is good" on her arm. In the film, Thomas and Teresa have dreams where they hear scientists repeat "WICKED is good."
  • In the book, Gally throws a knife at Thomas. In the film, Gally shoots a gun.
  • In the book, Thomas beats Gally up with his fists for killing Chuck. In the film, Minho throws a spear at Gally, impaling him in the chest. However, he reappears later both on in the book series and in the films.
  • Only Alby is ever cured through the serum in the film. He, Gally, and Ben remain the only Gladers to ever get stung by the Grievers, but the latter two never receive the serum as they do in the books.
  • Also, Gally is stung by the Grievers when the Gladers try to escape the Maze, and not prior to Thomas' arrival.
  • In the book, the walls of the Glade remain open the night Teresa wakes up from her coma. In the film, the walls remain open the night when Thomas and Minho discovered the Griever Hole.
  • Once the walls remain open, the Grievers enter the Glade. In the book, the Grievers enter multiple nights and take one Glader per visit. In the film, the Grievers attack the Glade once and kill about half of the Gladers.
  • In the film, Alby dies when the Grievers enter the Glade, and thus does not escape the Maze and sacrifice himself.
  • In the book, Gally turns on the Gladers because he remembers seeing Thomas in the Changing, similar to Ben. In the film, his motive is a fear of what will await them outside the Maze.
  • In the film, Ben is the second-in-command of the Runners. In the book, Ben is a member of the Builders.
  • In the film, Ben is hit in the head with a shovel by Newt when he attacks Thomas. In the book, he is shot by Alby with an arrow.
  • In the movie, the Grievers could not roll.

Deleted Scenes

  • "Thomas Meets Chuck" - Alby introduces Chuck.
  • "Frypan's Bacon" - Frypan is introduced and gives Thomas bacon.
  • "Runners" - Hank, Dan and Minho enter The Maze after Thomas carves his name into the wall.
  • "Wound" - Jeff and Clint treat Thomas's wound as Chuck watches.
  • "Speech" - Alby gives a speech about Ben after he's banished.
  • "Nervous Lunch" - Thomas asks Frypan about Alby and Minho during lunch.
  • "Entering The Maze" - Thomas, along with Minho, Frypan, Winston, Chuck and Zart volunteer to go into the maze. Thomas tells Chuck to stay.
  • "Council Hall" - Newt asks Jeff and Clint about Alby. Gally is furious after Thomas and his group go into the maze.
  • "Thomas Becomes A Runner" - Minho briefs Thomas on his first official Maze Run.
  • "Solving The Maze" - Minho tells Thomas they solved the maze in excitement.


  • Dylan O'Brien revealed he very nearly lost the role of Thomas due to his hairstyle, which Wes Ball considered 'too MTV!’ [9]
  • The movie beat the openings of the first two Hunger Games and Divergent in Korea, Russia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, and UAE making it the third-biggest Fox title of all time after Avatar and X-Men: Days of Future Past.[10]




Related links


  1. Hypable ‘Teen Wolf’ star Dylan O’Brien to star in ‘The Maze Runner’ movie
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Film Updates: Newt, Gally, and Alby have been cast. Thomas Sangster, Will Poulter, and Aml Ameen, respectively. #dashnerchat (@jamesdashner) - Twitter
  3. Runners! We have two official cast members. Aml Ameen is our Alby. Will Poulter is our Gally. Both amazing actors. We're lucky to have them. (@wesball) - Twitter
  4. EW 'The Maze Runner': Patricia Clarkson joins cast of dystopian saga -- EXCLUSIVE
  5. Hypable ‘The Maze Runner’ movie adds Chris Sheffield and Joe Adler
  6. official website
  7. Twitter account
  8. @DexterDarden Dexter Darden Twitter feed
  9. Hypable New ‘Maze Runner’ pictures and interviews reveal book to film changes
  10. [1] International Box Office: 'Maze Runner' Beats 'Equalizer'; 'Lucy' Nears Stunning $400M