WonderCon 2014: The Maze Runner's Thomas Vs. Katniss and The Grievers

The Maze Runner

One of the most highly anticipated young adult novel adaptations is The Maze Runner. Fans got their first peak of the movie adaptation of James Dashner's book when 20th Century Fox showed footage at WonderCon in Annaheim. Dashner, director Wes Ball and stars Dylan O'Brien and Will Poulter gave a press conference before the panel and answered some questions the fans have.

When it comes to Maze Runner vs. Hunger Games, O'Brien was surprised to even be compared to such a massive franchise. "These things always get blown up it seems after we've done the movie," O'Brien said. "Our movie was such a small movie, especially for a film like this. We had the smallest scale, budget, time, we were restrained by a lot of things so it never felt like this was the next Hunger Games, like I'm the next Katniss. I never felt the weight of that at all and I still don't. I think that's not how to look at it. I also am a man, a boy, a guy. With all that said, I'm very excited to have this one be mine. I really feel close to it. We all do, we love the story. We fell in love with James's book and just like the entire process, it was insane what we all went through out there together, just battling conditions and the budget and time. We just made it happen and now the first question I get now funny enough is always how does it feel to be in such a big movie? I'm like cool, we made it seem that way. That's awesome."

Dashner joked, "We are planning a Thomas Vs. Katniss film a few years down the road." and O'Brien was modest. "I think she would kick my ass," O'Brien said.

The Maze Runner is set in The Glade where a group of teenagers wake up with no memory, and face a maze that keeps changing formation. One of the biggest challenges in The Glade are the Grievers, the monsters Dashner created in the book. Ball has kept the Grievers hidden in the film's trailers, but Dashner has seen them.

"All I will say is their vision perfectly matched mine," Dashner said. "I feel like they took the Grievers from the book and made them even better and it's going to be a big hit with my readers. It's freaking awesome."

Ball did explain how he developed the Grievers for the film. "I think it's a unique design," Ball said. "I'm hoping that it'll be one of the unique kind of movie monsters that stands out from all the rest. I took what James described in the book, it was biomechanical, nasty and scary and metallic, all these things and came up with a design that would be really fun to animate basically."

O'Brien was already popular from MTV's Teen Wolf and has seen his popularity grow with Glader fans. The action-packed movie was a new role for him. "It was a challenge, man," O'Brien said. "As an actor, it's a role that you absolutely would kill for. It's the unsung hero, the ordinary person in extraordinary situations. That's the kind of movie I loved growing up. It's the kind of role I look for as an actor. I see Stiles that way many times but it's a different thing physically. His energy is way different. It's much slower, it's more dramatic. It's just a challenge for me honestly but something I really want to work on and continue to do."

The Maze Runner is out September 19.

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