“The Maze Runner” has already been criticized for conforming to the alternate universe YA template that has failed so many other “Hunger Games” imitators. But there are differences. Those films have basically fallen into two camps, with dystopian future social commentaries on one side (“The Giver,” “Divergent,” “The Hunger Games,”) and witch and vampire fantasies on the other (“The Mortal Instruments,” “Beautiful Creatures,” “Twilight”). While this film leans more toward the dystopian aspect, it also evokes a primitive, marooned society of almost all-male island castaways along the lines of “Lord of the Flies.”
In two new clips, one featuring an intro by series author James Dashner and the other a featurette, we get a peek at a test-of-strength hazing ritual in The Glade, as well as an explanation of the ritual’s rules (where protagonist Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) also finds himself with no memory of his past). “Do your part. Never harm another glader. Never go outside the walls.”
The featurette introduces some of the actors, including Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who many will recognize as the little boy from “Love Actually.” Patricia Clarkson’s role in the film remains a mystery for now.
“The Maze Runner” opens September 19th.