The final Maze Runner movie, The Death Cure, is in theaters now, wrapping up the last chapter of this story. But what about the story that came before?
Diehard fans of the Maze Runner franchise probably wouldn’t stick their nose up at additional movies, and that includes producer extraordinaire Wyck Godfrey himself.
On January 26, Godfrey tweeted a farewell to the dystopian franchise, ending on a wistful note that maybe he’ll have a chance to work with Director Wes Ball and Screenwriter T.S. Nowlin once again.
Today’s a bittersweet one for me as we send off the @MazeRunnerMovie and series in grand style. @wesball and @tsnowlin have been there from the beginning and I couldn’t be more proud of them and thankful for their dedication. Prequel anyone?
— Wyck Godfrey (@wyckgodfrey) January 26, 2018
Unlike Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, or the ill-fated Divergent movies, Maze Runner made the bold choice that, as a YA book-to-film adaptation, it would not split the final film into two parts so as not to overstay its welcome.
Some fans might think the idea of adapting the prequel novels is exactly that — overstaying a welcome — but I would argue that both The Kill Order and The Fever Code offer insights into the original trilogy and give the spotlight to characters other than Thomas, particularly Teresa.
I’m sure Godfrey’s comment was borne of longing and nostalgia for working with his team on this series — they’ve been going at it for the last seven years, after all — but fans will certainly be clamoring for more following the end of the film.
Now it’s time to figure out if this is even a possibility.
Critics were favorable to Maze Runner, but less so when it came time to watch the second film Scorch Trials. Still, both films went on to make over $300 million worldwide. Fans of the books have generally been in favor of the films, and there’s no doubt they were a box office success.
It’ll take some time before we know for sure if Death Cure will rake in as much cash and as much praise as the first two movies. So far, responses to the film appear to be fairly positive, and it’s already made $1.5 million from Thursday night previews, which is in between the first two films. They made $1.1 million and $1.7 million, respectively.
All of this is to say that the Maze Runner franchise is a successful one. There are two more full-length novels that can be adapted, so the source material is there (and author James Dashner has expressed a desire to have the prequels adapted). The creatives behind these movies would be remiss not to at least think about the possibility of adding more installments.
Box office success and a positive response aren’t the only two factors that would need to go into making another Maze Runner movie, however. You’d also need to make sure the cast would want to return.
Book four is largely centered around Teresa, so Kaya Scodelario’s availability would be paramount. She’s certainly done more than just the Maze Runner movies, including a turn in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. She’s also got one more movie coming out in 2018 aside from Death Cure, and will begin filming on another shortly.
Aside from Teresa, the other main characters in book 4 don’t appear in any of the other books. It isn’t until book 5 that many of the characters we know and love come back into play, including Thomas, Minho, Newt, and all the rest.
For his part, Dylan O’Brien is certainly coming up in the world. I speculated what he could do following Death Cure, and came to the conclusion that the world is his oyster. He’s potentially got another American Assassin movie on the horizon and basically anything else he wants to do.
Would he be willing to return to portray Thomas? He’d likely have a minor cameo in the fourth film, and then need to return in full for the fifth. Will that break be enough for him to want to return to this set and his fellow cast members? No one knows the answer to that except the actor himself.
And that goes for the rest of the main cast from the first three Maze Runner movies as well. But while doing press for this last film, the cast has talked extensively about what a family they’ve all grown to be. I don’t think any of them would balk at the chance to have another shot to work together in this capacity.
Perhaps we’ll be lucky and the stars will align. Maybe everyone will want to return and the next film will be granted the right budget for the story Godfrey, Nowlin, and Ball want to tell. Or maybe there will be some fresh blood that will give the next film a new feel.
Either way, I’m sure we’ll be waiting a while before we find out whether or not the Maze Runner prequels will be adapted for film. But, based on the franchise’s prior success, I think there’s a good chance.