First-time feature director Wes Ball has a daunting task ahead of him to adapt James Dashner‘s bestselling 2009 young-adult novel The Maze Runner, and the former special effects designer shared some concept art that he himself created for inspiration.
EW posted the following image and description:
The massive walls seem simultaneously industrial and ancient. They have the scale of natural rock formations, but there is no such thing as straight lines like these in the wild. From the creeping vines and empty corridors, the walls also seem to have been totally abandoned… except for a group of young boys who live in the grassy center of this intimidating structure, [but] not all of the boys are eager to find out what lies beyond the barrier.
20th Century Fox has just begun production on the saga, and here’s how Ball explains the illustration: “It was for me, really. I like writing images. I started daydreaming about what it’s like to be at those doors and looking up at those walls.”
The story begins with the lead character, Thomas (played by “Teen Wolf”‘s Dylan O’Brien), awakening inside a rusting, rumbling industrial elevator, which ascends from some unfathomable depth — into a peaceful meadow. He has no idea who he is or where he comes from. “The doors open and deposit him in this rustic, idyllic place surrounded by walls on all sides,” says Ball. “[Thomas] is just one of many boys who have come up once a month in the last three years. They have been trying to figure out how the hell to get out of this place and deal with the maze beyond the walls. The doors open in the morning, and the boys have to get back before they close because nobody survives a night in the maze.”
There’s something out there that preys on the ones who stay out too long. The kids call the creatures Grievers, though none has ever actually seen one (and lived)… Only the bravest of the boys are willing to venture out to look for escape. A moment like that is what Ball hints at amid the tiny figures in this concept drawing. ”Thomas is the boy who takes that step forward when everybody else takes a step back,” he says. “He’s curious. That’s partly perceived as a threat, but it actually may be the thing that gets him out.”
Look for The Maze Runner, starring Dylan O’Brien, Jacob Latimore, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Blake Cooper, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, on February 14, 2014. Noah Oppenheim and James Dashner (author of the novel) wrote the script. Wes Ball directs.
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