It's the battle of young adult dystopias! With The Hunger Games Franchise just about to wrap up in this year's [The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2](tag:449866), we've got teen focused post apocalyptic sci fi in abundance. And while it's unlikely that [Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials](tag:1142567) will beat Mockingjay Part 2 at the box office, the new trailer places it as a strong contender for the next big thing in this new genre. But with a new Hunger Games film hinted at after Mockingjay, can The Maze Runner series ever break out from under The Hunger Games' shadow?
The first Maze Runner film was far from amazing. It was pretty standard young adult sci fi fare, with the usual unusually attractive teens in a tense setting. The plot was fairly predictable but enjoyable, and the pacing kept us all on our toes. But the second trailer has really upped the game, introducing interesting new characters, treating us to several changes in location, and raising lots of questions. It's also really exciting, with all the yelling, running, and explosions we'd expect! Check it out, if you haven't already...
Who can they trust?
It's a real guessing game in The Scorch Trials: after escaping one maze, the Gladers soon find themselves trapped in just another elaborate part of WCKD's experiment. Luckily, they seem to realise this fairly quickly, and their escape is successful, but not before we've caught a glance of a familiar face in one of the creepy test tubes...
Now we could be wrong, but that sure looks a lot like Gally, the Glader who never trusted our hero Thomas. At the end of The Maze Runner, Minho seemed to kill Gally, but as he appears later on in the books it could be that WCKD are keeping him as their secret weapon. But we shouldn't trust the books too much: the trailer gives us some footage of a younger Thomas, which is missing from the books, and introduces us to the character of his mother, who seems to appear again after the Gladers' escape.
Departure from the books: good or bad?
The films have made some pretty big changes to the story as it appears in the books, and this may actually have improved the movie franchise's chance to overtake The Hunger Games in popularity. By erasing some of the weirder aspects like Thomas and Teresa's telapathy, The Maze Runner movies are keeping things grounded, while staying true to the best parts of the story. Author James Dashner even supports the changes from the books...
“They've done a great job of taking what was so important in the book — the mystery, the intrigue, characters themselves and the spectacle of the setting — and really translated it into a spectacular film. People are going to love it.”
And the trailer promises much more spectacle as the Gladers have to fight their way through "The Scorch": a vast desert that has overcome the cities of the old world, populated by terrifying zombie-like Cranks.
But they won't be alone - we're finally getting some more female characters when the Gladers meet Group B, the all girl trial group that are searching for a cure before The Flare turns them into just another gang of Cranks.
The next Hunger Games!
The trailer is exciting and interesting, and just leaves us wanting more! In fact, we're more excited for the next Maze Runner film than the prospect of multiple Hunger Games sequels, which is what Lionsgate are suggesting. Don't get me wrong - The Hunger Games has been a rollercoaster of a film series, and Mockingjay Part 2 is going to be amazing, finishing the franchise with a bang.
But finish it is exactly what it should do: though more Hunger Games films might shed some light on unanswered questions, as well as develop parts of the book that got cut from the movies, it might be time for a new story to take the spotlight. And with an action-packed plot with all the intrigue, post-apocalyptic scope, and zombies we could ask for, The Scorch Trials is ready to shine!