Here’s the final piece of our interview with The Maze Runner team! I had the awesome opportunity to chat with Dylan O’Brien (actor who plays Thomas), James Dashner (author of the book), Wes Ball (the director), and Wyck Godfrey (the producer) while at Comic-Con. In this piece of the interview we talk about the juxtaposition of the Glade and the maze – the Glade was a real place while the maze was done on a sound-stage and with CGI. We also discussed Dylan’s most anticipated scenes to film in the movie, after he read ths script and book.
After you read the book, or after you read the script, is there a scene that stood out and you’re like, “I’m really excited to shoot that scene.”
Dylan O’Brien: Yeah, so many.
Wes Ball: There are some very, very cool scenes in the movie.
Dylan O’Brien: Yeah, so many cool scenes.
Wes Ball: It almost seems like at least every couple days, Dylan would say, “Oh, I’m so looking forward to this scene. I’ve been thinking about it since I first read it.” You can tell. There’s like an excitement, and Dylan wants to do a really good job on this one scene. And what surprised me is it wasn’t the physical stuff. The stuff you really liked was all the quiet little one-on-one with the actors scenes. They were some of the best scenes in the movie, I think, surprisingly.
James Dashner: I’ve got to say, that scene from where you literally did not say anything, and it was powerful. You don’t even know what scene I’m talking about. I don’t want to say what it is.
Wyck Godfrey: Dylan’s really great when he doesn’t speak.
Wes Ball: He’s best when he doesn’t talk, I’ll tell you that right now.
James Dashner: I think that when he speaks, he’s even better.
I’ve got to say, that scene from where you [Dylan O'Brien] literally did not say anything, and it was powerful. You don’t even know what scene I’m talking about. I don’t want to say what it is.” – James Dashner
Wes Ball: There are just a lot of cool scenes in this movie. Especially the trip up! It’s a cool scene. You know, meeting Chuck for the first time, it’s a cool scene. Getting the tour by Alby, that moment of going through the walls and the doors close, all these little cool moments, and we really try to milk them for all they’re worth. It was a lot of fun. It’s really, really cool.
Can you guys explain how you’re going to realize the Glade on the screen?
Wes Ball: We built it for real. Except for the walls. We built a portion of the walls. We scoured around for I don’t know how many months.
Wyck Godfrey: Weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks.
Wes Ball: Exactly. A long time looking at every possible field that we could find in Louisiana. Eventually, we found one.
The Glade was actually a place, but then the maze was on a blue screen. Can you talk about the experience of shooting both different parts?
Dylan O’Brien: Yeah, it was so funny because we started out in the Glade for four weeks, and we had this like crazy environment where everything was…
Wes Ball: Rustic.
Dylan O’Brien: Yeah, geographically… It was so real, and down and dirty, and sweaty, and gross, and snakey, and spiders, and forest flies, and everything. We were in the dirt. And we would have this huge blue screen that looked so tall all over the place, and we would just put that wherever we needed. And then we went to the stage, and all of a sudden, it’d just be like me in a land of blue. Maybe a wall or something. Or we’d be in a parking lot with just a giant blue screen on the side of the highway. That was awesome.
“We’d be in a parking lot with just a giant blue screen on the side of the highway. That was awesome.” – Dylan O’Brien
Wes Ball: It’s a weird exposition. Both the shifts and the location and worlds that we do in this movie. I don’t think I even really understood it when I first went into this thing. It’s like, we go from this rustic prairie, this environment of the Glade, to almost ancient stone walls and concrete to the WICKED labs. And then, out to the desert area…it’s weird. We just cross through these weird juxtapositions. It’s fun. It was like every day, we’re doing something crazy and new. It made for a good time.
How will this movie compare with other recent YA films?
Wyck Godfrey: It’s not going to be the next Twilight. It’s gonna be the first Maze Runner. You know, honestly, I obviously have a history with that. But to me, the thing I fell in love with in this book series was the boy protagonist. There are not a lot of them out there. You’ve got a lot like The Hunger Games, and Divergent, and Twilight, which are all in some ways love triangles and also female protagonists. I love that this is a male a boy protagonist, but still, girls love the books. It’s cool from a boy’s perspective.
“We go from this rustic prairie, this environment of the Glade, to almost ancient stone walls and concrete, to the WICKED labs.” – Wes Ball