In The Maze Runner, a group of teenage boys must navigate a dangerous maze that encloses their living space.
But that wasn’t the end for the virus-surviving Gladers. The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials — the second movie based on the best-selling science fiction series by James Dashner — the Gladers face a different but equally difficult challenge.
Thomas (Dylan O’Brien of Teen Wolf) finds himself leading the Gladers through a desolate wasteland ravaged by solar flares known as Scorch.
Meanwhile, the motives of the World Catastrophe Killzone Department, or WCKD, the warped governmental agency that created the maze in the first film, remain mysterious as its operatives weigh their larger objective of finding a cure to this fatal “flare” virus.
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Some cast members were in town this week to talk about the film, which opens Friday.
Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), who plays Jorge, the head of another group of survivors in the movie, describes Scorch as a world with “vastness.” The characters must decide where their allegiances lie.
“There’s not a lot of contact with people,” Esposito said on a crowded phone call with cast members O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario (also from The Maze Runner), who plays female Glader Teresa, and Rosa Salazar (Insurgent), who plays Brenda, a resident of Jorge’s Lair.
Compared to the book, O’Brien said moviegoers can “expect things to be different for sure.” Scodelario noted that the book could not be the same as the movie.
As for production, most of the scenes were shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a far cry from the Louisiana backdrop in the first film. Esposito recalled adjusting his breathing due to New Mexico’s high altitude, while Scodelario reflected on the dry climate.
And no lie: the Scorch Trials cast really did bond.
Beyond the 15- to 17-hour work days, the group played plenty of rounds of Mario Kart. Scodelario even celebrated Thanksgiving with fellow cast members Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones) and Alexander Flores (The Maze Runner).
The group also went to a Halloween maze about an hour north of Albuquerque just for fun. Safe to say, it was genuinely a blast for Scodelario and her colleagues.
Scodelario, who identified herself as “the British one” on the phone, said though many movie casts claim they bond, usually that’s just lip service.
“It really angers me,” she said. “They all say that.”
For her part, Salazar can’t wait for the movie to open.
“We’re so excited to share this with our fans,” she said.