The Maze Runner is a 2014 American neo noir dystopian science fiction action thriller film directed by Wes Ball, in his directorial debut, based on James Dashner‘s 2009 novel of the same name. The film is the first installment in The Maze Runner film series and was produced by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, and Lee Stollman with a screenplay by Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers and T.S. Nowlin. The film stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter, and Patricia Clarkson. The story follows sixteen-year-old Thomas, portrayed by O’Brien, who awakens in a rusty elevator with no memory of who he is, only to learn he’s been delivered to the middle of an intricate maze, along with a large number of other boys, who have been trying to find their way out of the ever-changing labyrinth — all while establishing a functioning society in what they call the Glade.
Development of The Maze Runner began in January 2011 when Fox purchased the film rights to Dashner’s novel with film studios Temple Hill Entertainment and TSG Entertainment. Principal photography began in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 13, 2013 and officially concluded on July 12, 2013.
The Maze Runner was released on September 19, 2014 in the United States by 20th Century Fox. The film received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, who considered it better than most young adult book-to-film adaptations, though the ending and the lack of plot clarity received some criticism. The film was also a commercial success, as it topped the box-office during its opening weekend with a $32.5 million debut, making it the seventh-highest grossing debut in September. The film earned over $348 million worldwide at the box-office, against its budget of $34 million.
A sequel, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, was released on September 18, 2015 in the United States.