September 21, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – During the recent junket for The Maze Runner (opening tomorrow, Sept. 17), the film’s director Wes Ball recounted an amusing incident about the way the movie’s lead actor, Dylan O’Brien was cast, or rather, was almost not cast.

Wes related that when he was approached to direct the adaptation of the best-selling series written by James Dashner after Katherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Red Riding Hood) dropped out of the project, he went about the usual process of casting for the parts.

“We weren’t looking at faces, we weren’t looking at good looks, all that stuff — fortunately, we are okay in that department, too — but we found good actors that can be truthful,” he stated. “I wanted spectacle with an emotional core to it. I can’t just have shiny pictures.”

First one to be cast was for the role of Teresa, which went to British stunner Kaya Scodelario who was just coming off a critically-acclaimed performance as Kathy in acclaimed director Andrea Arnold’s reimagining of Wuthering Heights. Kaya first gained worldwide acclaim through her role as Effy in the provocative TV series, Skins.

The other part that was also immediately cast was that of Gally, which went to another Brit actor and pre-We’re the Millers Will Poulter (he was the naïve and geeky fourth-wheel in that hit movie whose private part was bit a spider!). Will landed the part because of his distinctive eyebrows according to Wes.

The one part that took a long time to cast was that of Thomas, the lead character in this gritty story of a group of boys trapped inside a mechanical maze set in a not-so-distant America. The director wanted to cast the late River Phoenix — yes, he was serious — but knowing that River has long been gone, he went looking for an actor who can remind him of the late actor’s intensity as displayed in the film The Mosquito Coast and Dylan, unfortunately, was among many actors he refused to cast.

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September 21, 2014

Video can also be seen HERE.

Sure, they survived a post-apocalyptic death trap together, but how well do the stars of The Maze Runner really know each other? In this edition of “Know Your Co-Star,” Yahoo Movies challenged Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster to answer questions about their Maze Runner pals.

First up: O’Brien (MTV’s Teen Wolf) and English actress Scodelario (Skins), who play the newest additions to the film’s infamous Glade. Scodelario blanks on the name of O’Brien’s band, but recovers with a half-answer to his birthday. O’Brien isn’t so good with dates, but he does correctly remembers Scodelario’s second language — and he instantly knows which celebrity with who she’d want to be trapped in a maze (hint: not him!).