The fans have spoken: They loved “The Maze Runner” and they want more!
More than a hundred fans of American author James Dashner’s 2009 dystopian, sci-fi novel “The Maze Runner” showed up on Aug. 23 at Greenbelt 3 for a special advance screening of the book’s film adaptation, way ahead of its Sept. 17 Philippine premiere.
“The Maze Runner,” the first of a trilogy, is about Thomas, a teenager who wakes up in a place called the Glade with no memory of his past life. The Glade is a large field fenced in by a vast, rotating maze and is home to 40 other boys who call themselves Gladers.
Thomas and the Gladers must find a way to survive in the Glade and get out of the maze before Grievers—horrific creatures that come out at night— get them.
Twenty-five groups of four or five friends got the special treat after winning a social media contest organized by 20th Century Fox. The fans went crazy when they learned that the special “Greenies Screening” was one of the earliest worldwide.
The excitement was palpable in the theater; some fans couldn’t help but shriek when the stars of the film, including its lead, American actor Dylan O’Brien (MTV’s “Teen Wolf”), welcomed them through a short video before the movie started.
And judging from the reactions after the movie, it looked like “The Maze Runner” got a unanimous thumbs-up from its most loyal fans.
‘Better than we imagined’
Inquirer Super sat down with some of the fans, chatting about the novel and their verdict on its movie version.
Janna Santos, 16; Arianne Velasquez, 18; Cedric Soloria, 17, and Martina Bambalan, 17, all said they absolutely loved the film, which, in fact, topped their admittedly high expectations.
“It was better than we imagined,” Arianne said, “even if there were some changes in the story.”
She said she expected the movie to deviate from the novel, but she was glad that “they changed it in a better way. It was better than what I expected.”
The four friends have all read the novel, but it was Cedric who got into the craze first.
“I read the book last year,” he said, adding that the trilogy was the first book series he really got into.
“I’m more of a fan of [young adult] romance. But when I read ‘The Maze Runner,’ I just knew it was different. I was able to read the series very quickly, unlike other books in that genre that I couldn’t even finish,” Martina pointed out.
The film’s choices in casting the fan-favorite characters were also well received. “The cast is so cool,” Janna said.
Even Cedric, whom the three girls said had an issue with English actress Kaya Scodelario being cast as Teresa (the only female Glader) approved of the actors after watching the movie. “She gave justice to the character,” Arianne explained.
They also loved the youngest Glader Chuck (Blake Cooper), who, Janna said, “was the highlight of the comedic scenes.”
Martina preferred the friendly, second-in-command Newt, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (“Game of Thrones”).
As for the coolest character in the whole movie? “Minho! Minho for the win!” shouted the girls.
Minho, the head Runner (a Glader whose job is to run around the maze and map its twists and turns) played by Ki Hong Lee, won them over with his dry wit and charm.
The four friends, who are all studying Accounting Technology at Far Eastern University-Makati, loved the action-packed and scary parts the most.
Martina said one of the most thrilling scenes, which is also her favorite part of the movie, was the first time Thomas entered the maze. Janna agreed, saying Thomas “looked as if he was going to be crushed by the doors.”
Cedric said: “My favorite part was that really intense moment when they first killed a Griever. There were a lot of horrifying and shocking scenes.”
And though the movie had a different interpretation of what Grievers would look like, the four agreed that the monsters were still the stuff of nightmares.
One issue they had about the film, however, was the slight change in the last scene.
“The revelation was too early,” Arianne insisted, confessing her fears that there won’t be a sequel.
Janna also expressed her concerns on this significant alteration to the story line. “I’m really scared that there won’t be a second movie, because the revelation was already there,” she said.
Martina and Cedric said that for “The Maze Runner” not to have a sequel would be tragic, especially when the next books are more exciting than the first.
But there’s no need to fret. These fans’ wish for a sequel has already been granted.
In an interview with BuzzFeed on Sept. 5, “The Maze Runner” director Wes Ball confirmed that “The Scorch Trials,” the second book in the series, is now in preproduction in New Mexico.
It looks like Christmas has come early for these diehard fans.