Maze Runner's Dylan O'Brien Talks 'Quarter-Life Crisis' After Wrapping The Franchise

Dylan O'Brien in Maze Runner movies
(Image credit: (Fox))

In just a few days it will mark 10 years since Dylan O’Brien got his big break on MTV’s Teen Wolf, which premiered on June 5, 2011. The show would go on to become a major vehicle for the actor, who was 20 years old at the time, leading into his starring role in the sci-fi trilogy The Maze Runner. Now that the actor has wrapped two major pillars of his career, the question that might come to him is, "what now?"

Dylan O’Brien recently starred in the fun and acclaimed action film Love and Monsters, and he now fronts the upcoming thriller Flashback. While speaking about signing on to his latest movie, O’Brien shared what drew him to the film:

I felt like I was in this transitional phase of my life that was, you know, sort of close to a quarter-life crisis type thing. For whatever reason, it was like me and this script were meant to be. I remember reading it and thinking: ‘I am this guy right now.'

Flashback centers on a man named Fred Fitzell (O’Brien) who becomes obsessed with finding his high school girlfriend whom he used to take an experimental and mind-bending drug called Mercury. As the 29-year-old actor told NME, he’d been dealing with a transitional time of his own when the script made its way into his hands, and his “mind was blown” by Christopher MacBride’s movie.

While shooting the last movie in the Maze Runner franchise back in 2016, the actor was run over by a car on set and sustained a number of injuries, including severe trauma to his brain, and he had to have facial reconstructive surgery after the accident apparently broke most of the right side of his face. Dylan O’Brien has spoken before about how the accident affected him, sharing that it made him realize how important it was to him to “nurture” relationships he’d not placed emphasis on prior.

When asked about this transitional phase or the all-to-popular quarter life crisis many can likely relate to, Dylan O’Brien expanded on what was going on. In his words:

You know, it was a lot of personal things combined with at-a-point-in-my-career things. I was simultaneously so fulfilled and happy about these, like, otherworldly and surreal things that I had experienced in terms of where my career had brought me. I had all this confidence and fulfilment and beautiful people [in my life] – such amazing things to experience at a young age. But at the same time, there were a lot of things in my personal life that were unchecked and sort of neglected for a while.

It can’t be easy to balance the major success of Teen Wolf plus Maze Runner, along with being a twenty-something living in the world. Making Flashback certainly sounds like it was the right project for the actor at the time, as it aligned with some personal aspects of his life ahead of his 30th birthday this summer.

Flashback is coming to digital this Friday, June 4 and check out what other exciting movies are coming out this year with CinemaBlend’s 2021 movie release schedule.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.