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Interview – James Dashner – ‘The Maze Runner’ – Author


Posted February 5, 2018 by

Interview – James Dashner

Dystopian young adult films have been all the rage this decade. One of these series that has had a massive fan following on a global stage is The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Dashner’s writing has captured young adults’ imaginations everywhere and it was not a surprise when the first book was adapted to film in 2014, starring Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien as Thomas and Skins’ Kaya Scodelario as Teresa. The sequel, The Scorch Trials was released in 2015 and the final instalment of the trilogy, The Death Cure, hit theatres in early 2018.

The Maze Runner tells the story of Thomas, a teenage boy who wakes up at the centre of a maze with no memory of his life. He joins a group of fellow teenage boys as they look for a way out of the maze. When the sole girl, Teresa, arrives, the group learn more about their plight.

However, escape from the Maze does not bring them the freedom they imagined. The world outside is a frightening place, peopled with organisations nobody can trust. And then, there is the matter of a soul-destroying disease plaguing the world…

Following the release of The Death Cure, we managed to catch up with Dashner via email.


The third Maze Runner film, The Death Cure, will be out soon. How do you feel about the film trilogy coming to an end?

It’s a very bittersweet feeling. The Maze Runner has been such a huge part of my life for over ten years so it’s hard to see it come to an end. At the same time, I’m excited to throw all of my attention into other things. I have a lot of pans in the fire! Also, we have two prequels that have a chance of being made into movies or TV shows. Bring on the future!

How involved were you in the making of the films? Did the filmmakers ask for your input?

Twentieth Century Fox was really good to me. They kept me in the loop on everything from the beginning—reading scripts, giving feedback, going to set, etc. They’re the experts on making movies so I mostly relied on their experience and knowledge and let them do their job. But I also felt involved enough to feel like I contributed and like I was a member of the movie family. I’m so happy with the results!

From what we can see on Instagram, you get along really well with the cast and crew. How much time did you spend on set? And, did you take away any ideas from your time with the film crew for your stories?

One of the highlights of my career has been getting to know the cast and crew of The Maze Runner films. They’re just all so amazing! I feel like we got so incredibly lucky. I was able to go to each set, usually just for a week or so, just enough to feel the experience without getting in the way of the experts doing their jobs. I can definitely say I’ve learned a lot about storytelling from director Wes Ball and writer T.S. Nowlin. They really know their stuff, and watching them adapt my stories for the big screen has made me a better writer.

Aside from Maze Runner, you have written other bestselling series, Mortality Doctrine and 13th Reality. Do you see them being made into film or television series?

I can only hope! We’ve had interest in both, and these things take time, but I’ll be honest and say I desperately hope it happens.

Interview - James Dashner

What inspires you to write your stories?

The real answer here is EVERYTHING. Every experience, every person I meet, every movie I watch and book I read, every last sensory input each and every day affects my writing in some way. I think storytelling is the most powerful way to express ourselves and to look at the world through a different lens that’s not possible in any other way. I also love providing escape for people who are having a tough time in their life. I’m incredibly blessed to do this for a living!

What is next for you?

I’m working on edits for my first book for the adult market, a scary thriller called The Waking that should be released in about a year. I also have an original comic story in the works that I’m very excited about. Lots of stuff in my head!


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Louis Skye
Freelance Contributor

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