Not every element of The Maze Runner book could make it into the film adaptation, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Find out which changes to the story we loved most.
It’s impossible to make a strict adaptation of any book. Not only would that usually make for an incredibly long film, it’s a fact of the medium that what is written inside a novel cannot always be adequately translated to the screen. And while we’ve shaken our fists at several movies for leaving out our favorite moments, we’re here to celebrate the changes to The Maze Runner that we truly loved and appreciated.
All the kids came up monthly
This is a concept Director Wes Ball developed in order to give more of a backstory to Alby. In the novel, a bunch of the kids came up at the same time, and then after the initial batch, they came up monthly, one at a time. In the movie, however, Alby was the first Glader to arrive. And while we didn’t get a chance to delve deeply into his backstory, this fact helped shaped Aml Ameen’s performance in the film. An exclusive comic book was given away at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 that showed Alby’s time in the Glade with the boy who came up after him a month later. It certainly gives you a better sense of why Alby is the leader, and why he is so protective of all the other Gladers.
Ben is a Runner instead of a Builder
In the book, Ben is a Builder who is eventually shunned from the group and banished into the Maze to try to survive on his own. What makes this so tragic is that all of the Gladers know he doesn’t stand a chance against the Grievers by himself. In the movie, Ben’s plot is quite similar to his character’s in the book, but he is a Runner instead. For the purpose of the movie, this puts him more at the forefront of everything going on, and also vacates a spot for Thomas to take. Ben might have been as accustomed to the Maze as anyone, but we see how terrified he is when he is banished, and we also see how everyone still knows he’s as good as dead when they send him away.
The look of the Grievers
In both the book and the movie, the Grievers are absolutely terrifying. It has to be something to do with their amalgamation of parts and the fact that they only come out at night. In the novel, however, they’re described as being part animal and part machine, rolling and slug-like, covered in hair and slime. And while this certainly is nightmare-inducing, the decision to make them more like mechanical spiders than part slug does wonders to keep the action ramped up and the tension high.
In the book, Thomas and Teresa share a telepathic bond. It’s an interesting twist to a story steeped in a futuristic science, and it certainly intrigues the reader, forcing them to wonder what else could be possible in this world. In the movie, there is no telepathy, and we think that’s for the best. While we’re sure they could’ve made it work, this element of Thomas and Teresa’s bond would have felt like an unnecessary development amidst all of the suspense. Though they never mentioned the possibility of telepathy in the movie, they could certainly carry this plot over into The Scorch Trials if it were something that needed to be explored. For now, we think they made the right choice to cut that particular plot point and stick to what were strictly the main aspects of the film.
Teresa doesn’t spend time in a coma
Teresa’s coma was a source of mystery and suspense in the novel, as the author introduced a new character — a girl, no less — and then left us without any answers to our innumerable questions. This worked well in the book because this became the tipping point for Thomas, when he truly began to realize a lot more was going on here than he initially thought. Dangling that carrot in front of us and then leading us further and further down the path kept us reading. In the movie, however, that would’ve been much too slow. It was important to keep each element seamlessly flowing into the next, and Teresa had information we needed right away.