As Dylan O’Brien wraps up the final movie in the Maze Runner franchise, Death Cure, fans are wondering what projects he’ll take on next.
O’Brien rose to fame by portraying Stiles on Teen Wolf, but has done a fantastic job of using that notoriety to catapult himself forward, instead of being typecast as the leading man’s best friend.
It really kicked off in 2012, when he was cast as the lead and romantic love interest Dave in The First Time. The Internship came next in 2013, where he played a smaller role, but got to rub elbows with the likes of comedy veterans Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
But it wasn’t until 2014, when O’Brien was cast in Maze Runner, that everyone started to notice him. Young Adult book-to-film adaptations are still a strong vehicle for Hollywood starlets, and this was just the franchise that O’Brien needed to begin his climb toward stardom.
It was after this point he began starring in larger productions, such as Deepwater Horizon opposite Mark Wahlberg and American Assassin opposite Michael Keaton.
But American Assassin hit theaters in 2017 and Death Cure comes out on January 26, 2018. According to the actor’s IMDb page, he’s got no upcoming projects beyond Maze Runner 3.
So what could possibly be next for him?
It’s possible there will be another American Assassin film. The production budget was $33 million dollars and it made that back and then some on the domestic front. Worldwide, it took in $66 million. Critics haven’t been too favorable toward it, but those who are invested in O’Brien will want to see the franchise live on.
When American Assassin was first announced, the idea was to create the next Jason Bourne franchise. It’s unclear if that’s still the aim, though with a fresh script it’s likely new life could be breathed into the next movie.
Few have had problems with O’Brien’s performance, which is quite a compelling deviation from his previous work, so his involvement alone could be enough to give the character a second shot.
It’s hard to know exactly what projects O’Brien is looking into next, as he’s famously quiet on social media (only coming out of a nearly month-long hiatus to call out Logan Paul’s behavior) and doesn’t attend as many conventions or press junkets as his co-stars.
The actor has been attached to two other projects which have yet to begin production. The first, announced in 2013, was a film called Glimmer, which would follow a group of teens who discovered a portal to the past.
The second, announced in 2015, was called Little White Corvette, about a brother and sister trying to sell a substantial amount of cocaine they found in the trunk of their deceased father’s sports car.
Both of these movies are still in development and there isn’t much known about them, though it appears as though O’Brien is no longer attached to either project. Whether or not that will change again is entirely up to both the actor and the studios, and we’ll just have to wait to find out.
In the meantime, it bears looking at what O’Brien has done in the past to gauge what he might pick up in the future. His list of completed projects is quite short at the moment, with the actor doing one feature film per year, but that could change.
Following his on-set accident during the Death Cure filming, O’Brien has said picking up American Assassin helped him get back on his feet. We can only hope that leads to more upcoming projects.
On a personal level, I hope Dylan chooses to pick up a comedy here and there. He’s proven through the Maze Runner Franchise and American Assassin that he is a quickly rising action star, but he stole people’s hearts as the weird and hilarious Stiles Stilinski on Teen Wolf.
The kid was born with comedic timing, and as much as I love seeing him kick ass, I’d love to see him in another blockbuster comedy or romcom.
And speaking of Teen Wolf, fans of that series are familiar with O’Brien’s ability to play the villain disturbingly well. Though it would be difficult to put the leading man mentality behind us, I think playing the bad guy would further show the world what kind of acting chops he has.
Either way, I have a feeling I’ll enjoy whatever projects O’Brien has coming up next, whether they’re comedic, dramatic, action-packed, or full of twisted villainy. Here’s to hoping we find out sooner rather than later!
But until then, be sure to check out Maze Runner: The Death Cure in theaters on January 26, 2018.