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There seems to be no shortage of young adult novels being adapted for the big screen these days. That's no surprise, given the box office success of many adaptations in recent years, as well as the number of books and series grabbing and holding the attention of readers young and less-young alike. Kids being put into dangerous situations has been a recurring theme in these stories, especially when we consider The Hunger Games and Summit's upcoming adaptation of Ender's Game. James Dashner's Maze Runner series fits the bill there. The above photo is our first look at the concept art for Fox's planned feature adaptation of the first book in the series.
The story begins with a boy named Thomas arriving via an elevator to a mysterious place called the Glades, which is occupied by a group of boys, all of whom arrived there just like him, with no memory of who they were before they got there, other than knowing their own first names. Every morning, stone doors open to a huge maze that surrounds them. The doors shut tight each night, and the kids know not to get stuck in the maze overnight or it's unlikely they'll survive to tell the tale. But getting through the maze may be the key to unlocking the mystery of the place and maybe even getting out.
EW says the illustration, which shows us the high, vine-covered stone walls of the story's setting, was created by the film's director, Wes Ball, to use for inspiration.
“It was for me, really. I like writing images,” says Ball, who previously worked as a special effects designer. “I started daydreaming about what it’s like to be at those doors and looking up at those walls.”
"Frightening" might be a good word for it, or at the very least, daunting. The angle of the image and the tiny figures that can be seen near the bottom, crowded together in the slice of light that's coming through those two walls offer us a really great perspective into just how huge the place is and how challenging a maze set among them might be to a bunch of kids.
We learned previously that Teen Wolf's Dylan O'Brien is set to play the lead role of Thomas. He joins Kaya Scodelario, who will play Teresa, and Blake Cooper, who landed the role of Chuck through an effective Twitter campaign.
Fox currently has The Maze Runner set to arrive in theaters on February 14, which still gives you plenty of time to read the book.