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The Pre-Take on 'The Maze Runner'

Slated for release in September of 2014, "The Maze Runner" is a feature film based on the first book in a trilogy of the same name. Published in 2009, the first book introduces us to a self-contained society, populated by teenage boys, known as the galde. Both the film and the book begin with the arrival of the tale's protagonist, Thomas. Just as we enter their society with no knowledge, so does Thomas. Even though Thomas and the other characters are part of the world, their memories of life before their arrival have been erased. Following Thomas, we quickly learn the rules, limits, boundaries, and inherent challenges presented by their society. One of the biggest revelations is the fact that their community exists at the center of a gigantic maze, through which no one has been able to escape.

Based on a best-selling novel by James Dashner
Based on a best-selling novel by James Dashner20th Century Fox
Based on a novel by James Dashner
Based on a novel by James Dashner20th Century Fox

Co-written by the novel's author James Dashner, "The Maze Runner" is expected to be one the year's first big teen franchises. While some may liken the film to the Hunger Games films, the presence of teens in a self-contained environment isn't really enough to make a valid comparison. Even a casual examination illustrates a vast difference between plot lines and outcomes. While the studio undoubted hopes for a similar reaction from audiences, there is no telling how the film will ultimately be received. After all, Jennifer Lawrence's star power and talent will not be a part of "The Maze Runner's" equation.

Taking advantage of an ever increasing pool of popular young actors and talent, the film features a host of some of today's most recognizable faces. While the books feature much younger leads, in their early to late teens, the film is populated by actors ranging from their mid-teens to mid-twenties. Best known for his role as Stiles Stilinski in the "Teen Wolf" television show, Dylan O'Brien stars as the film's protagonist, Thomas. Joining O'Brien as Newt, Thomas Brodie-Sangster co-stars. Brodie-Sangster is best known for his role as Jojen Reed in the "Game of Thrones" television series. Another familiar face, known for his roles in 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader,' "Son of Rainbow," and most recently "We're the Millers,"Will Poulter dawns the role of Gally, one of the film's antagonists. Recent reports attach Poulter to the American adaptation of "The Revenant." Throwing a welcomed wrench into the boy heavy cast of co-stars, Kaya Scodelario joins the cast as Teresa, the only female resident of the glade. Scodelario is best known for her role as Effy Stonem in the British teen drama, "Skins."