Debut filmmaker Wes Ball admits he has a newfound respect for anybody who makes a movie, given the challenges he faced when putting The Maze Runner together.
The film, which is set for an October 10 release in the UK, is based on the popular, post-apocalyptic novels by James Dashner, and features the likes of Dylan O’Brien and Will Poulter, and hopes to emulate the likes of Divergent and The Hunger Games, as fellow young adult fiction novels brought to life on the big screen.
“I tell you one thing,” Ball told HeyUGuys, “I have a newfound respect for anybody who makes a movie that makes it up on screen. Because it is so hard. There are so many things that are against you, so many challenges that are out of your control. It’s crazy. I’m not so hard on movies any more because I know how difficult it really is.”
One of the inevitable challenges is to appease the pre-established fan base for this picture, who undoubtedly have high expectations. However it’s a pressure Ball believes he flourished in.
“The fans have been very supportive,” he said. “I’ve tried to keep them involved and in the loop on Twitter and stuff like that. When I first got the job I asked them what were their favourite scenes from the book that you wanted to see in the movie. They listed them out and I made sure they’re in the movie to the best of my ability. They’re really happy with the cast so it’s the best kind of pressure. It makes you reach for something that will make them happy, but at the same time you have to keep your eye on the fact that you need to make a movie and it’s got to work as a movie. So I’m not replacing the book, I’m just making something to live parallel alongside the book.”
While the book itself is labelled as being ‘young adult’ fiction, it’s a label that Ball feels devalues the content somewhat. “It’s a weird thing. People just label it that. It’s not like it’s a new occurrence, we’ve had this forever. People like labelling things, and it definitely puts a target on our back, so it’s interesting. I’ll take any comparisons to The Hunger Games for sure, but hopefully we transcend it a little in the movie. I wanted to make a cool movie with kids in it, not a kids movie. I try to make something like The Goonies, or Jurassic Park or Raiders, something adventurous and fun that I grew up on. I wanted to tap into that, I didn’t think about the whole YA thing.”